Friday, August 27, 2010

RAMA space NASA colony

NASA #13
Okay, maybe I have time for one more post. Check out this NASA-commissioned artwork, recently posted over at BoingBoing. Unfortunately, I forget about all too often - because I'm very, very interested in a decent amount of what they dig up.

Here's the gallery post at BoingBoing, and the source page at NASA.

Fine. So, that explains "NASA" and "space colony" - but what of RAMA? Well, these pictures reminded me of the Rama series of sci-fi books by Arthur C. Clarke. Rama was a mysterious object entering our solar system, which turned out to be a cylindrical alien space colony, much like those pictured above. In fact, the Wikipedia page for the first book, Rendezvous with Rama (1973), even contains the first painting above.

Much like Clarke's fiction initially proposed the whole idea of geosynchronous communication satellites (in 1945!!! or at least 1956)... Rama included some bold ideas, later implemented by reality:
Clarke invented the fictional space study program which detects Rama, Project Spaceguard, as a method of identifying near-Earth objects on Earth-impact trajectories... However, a real Spaceguard project was initiated some years later, named after Clarke's fictional device. After interest in the dangers of asteroid strikes was heightened by a series of Hollywood disaster films, the United States Congress gave NASA authorization and funding to support Spaceguard.

Odyssey #4
Speaking of Arthur C. Clarke, BoingBoing also recently pointed out this very nice gallery of 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) stills! Which was based on a Clarke short story, with screenplay co-written by him, and then novelized and sequelized again by him. It's a pretty good movie...

Odyssey #55

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Black Mountain Angels

Probably no posting this weekend - live music plans!!

Wilderness Heart
Speaking of live music, I recently learned about the upcoming tour by Black Mountain (#10, 2008) and Black Angels (#3, 2006). They'll be hitting Houston at Warehouse Live on Wed., Nov. 17 - together. New albums from both in September too!

"Old Fangs" from Wilderness Heart (2010)

Pretty cool. Is he listening to The Enchanter Persuaded (#8, 2006), there at the beginning? More songs at the Myspace!

"Bad Vibrations" from Phosphene Dream (2010)

Someone said the song is downloadable at their official site, but I think they meant that you get .mp3's when you pre-order the album. Regardless, you can stream stuff from the record for sure.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Modern Love Clouds

Liberation Through Hearing
Modern Love Records have records/sets on Soundcloud! And they include the first two of Demdike Stare's planned 2010 EP trilogy.

Demdike Stare - Forest of Evil

I got the Forest of Evil EP immediately when it was released in April. Seemed a little thin at first, but I've given it a few more listens recently, and it sounded somewhat more interesting. It is still available most places that would stock it...

Demdike Stare - Liberation Through Hearing

So when Liberation Through Healing came out earlier this month, I didn't rush to order it. I was in Las Vegas, or catching up on other things... All of a sudden, it was sold out everywhere! Anyway, I finally found a copy and received it a couple of days ago. Haven't had a chance to listen yet, but I'll wait until I can get the vinyl rolling.

Suum Cuique - Midden

Here's another one I've been kind of interested in, so I will check it out too! Second track's pretty cool so far.
Suum Cuique (pronouned Soom Kwi-Kwe, Latin for "To Each His Own") follows the remit of Young Americans to explore uncharted, experimental, and personal synthscapes, guided by the hand of intuition with an entirely analogue array of machines. In 'Lithic Reduction' concrète textures grind like a millstone to release powdery clouds of analog dust, settling only to be dispersed by gusts of blackened distortion, whereas 'Red Binary' is distinctly electronic, revolving around muted radar bleeps like the resonance from SAW II soundtracking a speckly pill experience that's starting to go west.

Forest of Evil

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Dark Rituals of Finland

Along with William Basinski's Disintegration Loops (2002) and the music of Morton Feldman, the Finnish ritual ambience from the Aural Hypnox label is probably the least suited for YouTube consumption. Like those, the true ritual stuff is meant to be approached as an all-encompassing, large-scale whole. Which is bad news for me, not being much of a music writer... So, what to do?

"Infra-Saturn"/"Exo" from Star Autopsy (2005)

Might as well start at the beginning (for me), which fortunately is on the more cosmic, less ritual end of the Hypnox aural spectrum. Zoät-Aon is a one-man crew from Lapland, and I really liked his first album Star Autopsy (#3, Drone/Ambient 2005).

Here's what I said:
Somehow vaguely related to Somnivore (#4), maybe that's how I found them. Whereas that project concerned the earthly, Zoät-Aon's terrain is the hyperverse. The machine-cycle-hum could be from spacecraft or the galactic axis. Occasional Ligeti-storms of Monolith noise-burst occlusion. A wormhole-tourism audio-pamphlet of alien topography, with field recordings of the fourth-dimensional, sun-eating birds of Arkh'torus XIV-b. Sounds like the apocalypse, or the universe being reborn.

"Bestial Waves" from The Triplex Bestial (2006)

Since I obviously liked it, I decided to get 2nd album, from the very next year, The Triplex Bestial. Zoät-Aon's journey is deep into the void, and it can be as harsh and dissonant as drifty and floating. You can also check out the opening track, "Gate of All Directions." As with all beginnings here, things take their time to get moving - it's real gradual. Album-length explorations of inner/outer space require some groundwork preparation, that kind of thing...

Zoät-Aon pretty regularly posts up free downloads too, but links are often temporary so get 'em now! At the Z-A homepage, you can download this "Representational Mix" (right-click Save As...) - a single 12-minute MP3. There's also (while it lasts) "The Mercury Drinker" from Finnish radio's Avaruusromua 20 vuotta special. "Space Junk" show's 20th anniversary... I once got a 2009 live recording of "The Explosion of Hermit Fire" that's already expired and gone.

Ai Ma Ra
Arktau Eos is another thing altogether, and that is ritual ambient. As their Myspace page tells it, they are influenced by "the songs taught to us by bones and stars." They sound like "a gnarled old tree telling you of worlds beyond, roots nestled in the constellations above and branches flowering in vaulted tombs below."

"Retrocession into the Astrolith" from Ai Ma Ra (2009)

That's the latest one, and it's a 2xCD set of wind-rustled forest spirits and esoteric cave druid spells. Apparently made with a minimum of electronics, but lots of temple bells and bone horns - the kind of ritualistic instruments the original rituals might have used. So, it ends up being two discs of rumbling drones, primitive rhythms, and moaning chants. Quality stuff! I think some are live recordings from a London performance, but a lot of it sounds like live performance in a hillside cave.

"A Banquet for Ghosts" from Mirrorion (2006)

The earlier Mirrorion puts 17 tracks on a single disc. They do some of the same kind of thing, but with more electronic noise and stringed instruments. I haven't listened to this one as often as Ai Ma Ra, but it does seem like a better entry point - more appropriate for different moods. Also, check out "Nether-Desert Iris" and "Obsidian Pyramid" from the same album.

Arktau Eos have a website. They are a duo, made up of two guys named Antti. One of whom is also in Halo Manash...

Antti of Halo Manash and Arktau Eos also runs the whole Aural Hypnox label.

"Consummation - Bathed in Sacred Fire" from Taiwaskivi (2009)

Whereas Arktau Eos' ritual take a winding textural pathway through the mystic, this last one from Halo Manash builds directly up - from the roots so to speak. Not only is this record the third in a conceptual trilogy, "a tripartite series of works that are part of one holistic creation – a treelogy, with seed, root, trunk and finally, branches. Being the culmination of an ascending journey through the aforementioned realms within and without, Taiwaskivi is the celestial crown at the peak, reaching toward Sol, source and beyond..." The album itself grows from the traditional introductory hum, building in presence and intensity, through titles like "Burial - Self-Flesh Given as Offering to All" and "Conjunction - A Vessel Springing with Nectar from the Skybound Source." Until the final consummation of both triad series and component part, excerpted above. This one comes with a full-album video conceptualization dvd as well.

Halo Manash: Taiwaskivi (trailer)

Now I just need to find that multi-region DVD player for all these European discs. By the way, this post is technically part of the "3 Who Would..." series of genre spotlights. I just liked my title better!

Friday, August 20, 2010

Hark! A Vagrant

How you like history? What about literature? Super-heroes? Surly teenagers? Canada? How 'bout pure hilarity??

Seriously, you should be reading Hark! A Vagrant. Maybe the best web-comic of all time forever! I mean, I'm sure you've got plenty of alternatives that would illustrate made-up stories for a bunch of real books' Edward Gorey covers... right?

Hark! A Vagrant
Click to the full-size comic version. Or European history! Or even mystery. Or Wolverine + Wonder Woman! And that's just in the last coupla months or so...

You're welcome!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Killer Video Lifestyle

I'm becoming seriously suspicious of YouTube's search algorithm. How have I missed two Killer Lifestyle Pong videos, out there for a year?!

"Foot Foot" from Killer Lifestyle (2001)

I've never been able to get this one to show on Pong's website, and now I have finally (FINALLY) seen it!! Great to see 2 singers in one song, great to see the o.j.'s... This is a song about another Austin band, named after the Shaggs song (o' course). I think they still play out, although I've never caught them live.

"Incapacitated" from Killer Lifestyle (2001)

First two songs! Longtime a Pong favorite for all. Someone made a hand-drawn animated video for it... Not sure about all that non-Pong intro stuff, but I thought you should know what's up.

"Conform to the Norm" (live Ft. Worth, 2004)

Might as well throw in this old live vid - since I've never noticed it neither. Check out that geometry. All this discovery, along with finding this cd at Vinal Edge, has got me thinking...


Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Ghost Box Study Series 02

I've already posted the first installation in the series - a collaboration between Belbury Poly and Moon Wiring Club. Here's the 2nd, another collaboration... this time between The Advisory Circle and Hong Kong in the 60s.

"New Dimensions In" and "Seasons Change" from
Ghost Box Study Series 02: 'Cycles and Seasons'(2010)

Right in the old Ghost Box wheelhouse. Percolating, nostalgic, a lil' bit youthful, a lil' bit creepy and/or sad. I've posted briefly before on The Advisory Circle, but Hong Kong in the 60s is all new to me. So I dug up what I could find of their other stuff...

"Winter Symphony" from Happy Christmas 2009 EP (2009)

This is an obscure Beach Boys cover, from a FREE-ly downloadable EP - which you can grab from here! (It's #058.)

"Footsteps" from Willow Pattern Songs EP (2009)

Also released this year as a single... More than your typical hauntology. Maybe a little somewhat in the style of Broadcast, who also collaborated with a Ghost Box artist (for #6 of Drone/Ambient 2009). Or a bit Stereolab (#2, 1996) - some kind of history-conscious British electronic band with female sing-song vocals...

Ghost Box Study Series 02

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Trinity = Triad x Infinity

Awhile back, I got a couple of pretty swell cd's from our pals at Neurot Recordings. Here's lots more info...

Hawkwind Triad
First up! A 3-way tribute compilation Hawkwind Triad (2010), celebrating the forefathers of space rock, Hawkwind (#4, 1973). Although I'm a big fan of Harvestman (#5, 2009) - see below - U.S. Christmas wins it here by staying pretty true to the root.

"Master of the Universe" by U.S. Christmas (2010)

Very nice opening cut - here's the Hawkwind original. As I hope I've mentioned, Hawkwind was innovative and influential in seriously numerous areas: stoner rock (mixing metal, catchy riffs and speed), space rock (blending psychedelics, sci-fi, metal and electronics), avant/free music (including electronics, wild saxophone, repetitive drones, live dancers and spoken word), etc... But some of their songs hit the trifecta - and this is one of those!

I don't know too much about U.S. Christmas, but they've been around awhile and have an upcoming album on Neurot. They've got that Hawkwind spirit, though. USX also did this cover of "Orgone Accumulator" [original, live].

"Children of the Sun" by Minsk (2010)

Another band I know very little about is Minsk. I've heard they were good, almost went to their last show here, but wasn't willing to make the solo trek. Having never listened to them... Generally, their covers here didn't do much for me - I like the psych outros much more than the main parts. This one's different, since it's on the quieter acoustic side (here's the Hawkwind).

"The Watcher" by Harvestman (2010)

Okay, on to Harvestman - a definite personal favorite! I had a video for "Magnu" all made up, because it's such a great song. But then I realized that this was the only Lemmy Kilminster song on the tribute - so I had to. Had to! Also this tune bridges the space between Uatu and Orgasmatron. Here's the Hawkwind original live [and also a Motörhead version, from 1977]. Lemmy played bass with Hawkwind, wrote their biggest hit, was booted out for being too greasy or something, and formed Motörhead (named after one of his Hawkwind b-sides).

Anyway, this Harvestman differs significantly from the previous stuff. Mainly, it's everything that comes from Hawkwind - the vocals, the drums, and the riffs... As opposed to the woodlands psychedelic guitar ambient mysticism before. Kind of odd to have used the Harvestman label (since Steve von Till also issues stuff under his own name). I'm thinking is more the fact of acknowledging the Hawkwind influence on Harvestman, rather than just a branding excercise. (hehe) However...

"Harvestmesse" and "Trinity" from Trinity (2010)

At the same time, Harvestman was releasing a ltd. ed. (of 1,000) cd of Trinity (2010). Weirdly enough, it's something like the soundtrack to the Italian horror movie H2Odio (2006) - in English, Hate2O. And here's a trailer, with music.

Trinity is more in line with previous instrumental Harvestman works, and actually features a few tracks originally from Lashing the Rye (#2, Drone/Ambient 2005), including "March to Loch Barren" and "Amongst the Heather." The latter a special fan favorite from the debut.

"Don't Play with Water" and "Dead Flowers" from Trinity (2010)

But I decided to run up some videos from non-Lashing tracks, although that still leaves out great material like his re-interpretation of the old folkie "Sheep-Crook and Black Dog," and "Melleadh."

"Melleadh" from Trinity (2010) and Lashing the Rye (2005)

Ehhh, or not. Somehow all my previous Harvestman digging hadn't turned that up... Bonus!!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Take You Down to Zendik Farm

I'd totally forgotten about Zendik Farm! But then I found this 1996 Aural Innovations article about Lone Star Psychedelic Space-Rock music.

"Ancient in My Eyes" from Zendik - The Album (1972)

See, back in the late-'80s or early-'90s, you'd hear about Zendik Farm in the underground music circles and record shops. All I ever picked up was that they were like a granola hippie arts commune, and I'd sometimes see their punk-style zine floating around. Apparently, it was around Bastrop, TX... but their founder (Wulf) died in 1999, and his partner (Arol) is now running the show in West Virginia. And some people think they're a cult. Here's their website. Wulf and the tribe recorded a whole album in 1972, which is shocking news to me - but that's what YouTube is for!

"Is There No Peace" from 7" (1970)

I'm not entirely sure this is the same people, because Wulf isn't credited at all on the A or B-side of this single. But more than one Zendik in the early-'70s would be too weird. This mind-blowing garagey psych-out is (in most ways) very different than The Album's outsider space-folk-drone. Of which here is more...

"Yang/Yin" from Zendik - The Album (1972)

Now that's what I expect from my Hill Country free-sex and art/music commune leaders!

"This Musiké" from Zendik - The Album (1972)

The least of the 1972 tracks on the YouTube, but I saw no reason to leave anything behind. Especially if your favorite part is Wulf's distinctive vibrato, which he employs liberally here.


Friday, August 13, 2010

Top 10 Albums of 1996

It's been four months since the last new Top 10 - four months!! What happened?

O well, 1996 is next up on the rotating-decade randomized tour through history. Much like the previous year, I was seriously poor at the time. So most of these I've picked up sometime since the original releases. But not the local Texan stuff, nor the Ween...

#10 None So Vile - Cryptopsy

None So Vile
"Phobophile" from None So Vile (1996)

Genre - Brutal Death Metal
Official/Myspace -
Location - Montreal, Quebec

Review - Stylus Magazine
Download - Amazon, iTunes
Purchase - Amazon

Kickin' it off with some extreme metal, natch. Many, if not most (or none), of you were probably expecting me to feature "Slit Your Guts," right? A landmark of technical death, according to some. Pretty relentless, with a few slowdowns to gasp for breath. The singer is called Lord Worm.

#9 Through Silver In Blood - Neurosis

Through Silver In Blood
"Through Silver In Blood" [part 2] from Through Silver In Blood (1996)

Genre - Post-Metal
Official -
Myspace -
Location – Oakland, CA

Review - Prog Archives
Download - iTunes, Amazon
Purchase - Relapse Records

I've never been as big a Neurosis fan as it seems I should be. I always prefer Tribes of Neurot. This one's really good, though... One of the guitarists became Harvestman (#5 of 2009 and #2 Drone 2005), which is also really different. Neurosis is more downtuned, super-heavy, progressive with long tunes and tribal drumming. Thus influential in those underground metal circles that matter.

#8 Harmony of the Spheres - V/A

Harmony of the Spheres
"Fantasia on a Theme by Sandy Bull" [part 2] by Roy Montgomery, different version from Harmony of the Spheres (1996)

Genre - Longform Drone Compilation
Official - kinda...
Location - various

Review - Fake Jazz
Download - Amazon (same price as purchase)
Purchase - Forced Exposure

Three LP's, six bands, one track per side. It's psych-folk-drone experimentation gone wild! Charalambides (more soon), Bardo Pond, Flying Saucer Attack, Loren Mazzacane, Roy Montgomery. The 2-part videos for his tune is actually from a recent split 12" with Grouper, rather than this old-schooler comp.

#7 Take It From The Man! - The Brian Jonestown Massacre

Take It From The Man!
"Vacuum Boots" from Take It From The Man! (1996)

Genre - Retro Beat Music
Official -
Myspace -
Location – San Francisco, CA

Review - Psychedelic Music
Download - Shock Hound, iTunes
Purchase - The Committee to Keep Music Evil

O, Anton, your rock and roll necrophilia never gets old...

#6 Odelay - Beck

"Novacane" from Odelay (1996)

Genre - Major/Indie Hipster
Official -
Myspace -
Location – Los Angeles, California, USA

Review - Pitchfork Media
Download - iTunes, Amazon
Purchase - Amazon

I don't crank this one out too often anymore. But every time I do, it proves to be a surprisingly stong album. It's nice to forget, and be occasionally reminded. If I remember correctly, I bought this one based on the Dust Brothers and my deep abiding love for Paul's Boutique (1989).

#5 Historic 6th Ward - Charalambides

Historic 6th Ward
"Gypsy Woman" from Historic 6th Ward (1996)

Genre - Freak Folk
Official -
Location – Houston, TX

Review - New Grange Media
Purchase - Amazon

I only have a few from Charalambides. When they were coming up, I was still missing The Mike Gunn (#5, 1993). And then they were out of Houston, then out of Texas... and then a trio, and then Tom and (Rant On) Christina split up. What a long, strange tale.

#4 Lying Down - Project Grimm

Lying Down
"Through The Day" from Lying Down (1996)

Genre - Indie Metal
Official/Myspace -
Location – Houston, TX

Review - Houston Press article
Purchase - Greatest Hits Mail Order

While Tom ('s in the bathroom) formed Charalambides, John Cramer formed this band. Short-lived, they only put out two cd's - this being the debut. Their live shows were loose and jammy... and they did a sweet "I Want You (She's So Heavy)" with a great noise outro. Shoulda been bigger.

#3 Filosofem - Burzum

"Dunkelheit" from Filosofem (1996)

Genre - Ambient Black Metal
Official -
Myspace -
Location - Norge

Review - Metal Storm
Download - iTunes, Amazon
Purchase - Amazon

C'mon... Seriously! Iconic next-step Black Metal record from iconic Black Metal icon. Dunkelheit is the more common, German-release title for that song - but its actual title is "Burzum." Burzum is a word from the text engraved on The One Ring. Really...

#2 Emperor Tomato Ketchup - Stereolab

Emperor Tomato Ketchup
"The Noise of Carpet" from Emperor Tomato Ketchup (1996)

Genre - Krauty Synth-Pop Exotica
Official -
Myspace -
Location – London, England

Review - Music by Day
Download - iTunes, Amazon
Purchase - Amazon

It took me a long time to get into Stereolab. Your mileage may vary, depending on your tolerance for preciousness. But this album has hooks, tunes, experimental bits, and goes precisely all over the place. Lots to like, and lots and lots to dig deeper.

#1 12 Golden Country Greats - Ween

12 Golden Country Greats
"I Don't Wanna Leave You on the Farm" from 12 Golden Country Greats (1996)

Genre - Neo-Classic Country
Official -
Myspace -
Location – New Hope, PA

Review - Sputnik Music
Download - Amazon, iTunes
Purchase - Chocodog Merch

What can I say? I'm a really big fan of Ween, going way back to a certain mix tape from Arizona. My own cd is a prized possession because I snagged a copy before the recall, to remove a Muhammad Ali recording from this version of "Powder Blue." A few terrific Ween songs, some really great country playing, and a surprisingly effective (and uninterrupted) theme. Get it!!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Soundtrack Revival

Just a couple of unusual early-'80s OST cover tunes from some 12" EP's I picked up quite awhile ago. Used to have this first album posted via Lala, along with some other cool ltd. edition releases.

"In the Space Capsule (Love Theme)" from Hypnoticon EP (2010)

Yep, it's Hypnoticon from Teeth of the Sea (#9, 2009). Two recent posts for Rocket Recordings! I thought they were coming out with a full album this year, but haven't heard anything new since this one... This is the first cut, and they're covering Queen. Not the '70s heavy-glam watershed years, but the early-'80s soundtrack watershed years. (They also did the first Highlander.)

"In the Space Capsule (Love Theme)" from Flash Gordon OST (1980)

"Flash! Aa-ah..." Loved this movie back as a little kid. Soundtrack's really great, still. As the title suggests, this played after Flash and Dale stumble into Dr. Zarkov's rickety space capsule, which launches through the "imperial vortex," en route to the planet Mongo. And you know where that leads. Anyway, TOTS did some kind of live show playing along with the whole movie, and this one worked well enough to record.

Escape From New York
More recently, I took a chance on a 12" club-style EP of electro artists covering John Carpenter. I only barely know about the guy who remixed this cover (Bottin), but I like Carpenter's ominous synth soundtrack music.

"Escape from New York" from John Carpenter Aspect (2010)

Along with "Christine" done by Architeq (?) and "Pork Chop Express" from Sare Havlicek (??), this one's the "Escape from New York" main theme by King DJ (???) - remixed by Bottin. Yeah, well... A little interesting. None of them quite do the man justice - especially with Zombi out there in the world, or the original.

"Main Title" from Escape From New York OST (1981)


Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Great News from Maserati!

Per Maserati's official site, two new releases towards the end of the year!!

Pyramid of the Sun
I'll break my "news" first, then summarize the official stuff.

A month or so back, I went to see Mono (at Rudyard's). The merch guy was saying how it was the last show of the US tour, and I mentioned how I saw Mono in Houston at the first show of the last tour (#7 Live Show of 2009). The tour was with Maserati, but they didn't play together in Houston. He told me he also worked Maserati's post-Mono-tour show here (#2 show).

"We've Got a System to Fight the System" (live)

Then he told me how Maserati (#2, 2007 and co-#2, 2009) would have a new album out this year. And that for the release shows, the drummer from Zombi (#1 of 2006, co-#2 of 2009, and more soon) would be playing with them. Wow, great news! But then, he said that it went so well, he'd be their regular live drummer beyond that!! So, I guess it's just a rumor via Mono's tour merch guy - but it sounded good to me.

Pyramid of the Moon
Ltd. Ed. 12" single: "Pyramid of the Moon" (10/12/2010)
Never originally intended for release, "Pyramid of the Moon" was born as a scribbled idea in drummer Gerhardt Fuch’s journal while on tour, hatched in the studio as an extended jam captured while recording the forthcoming album... Temporary Residence was accidentally sent rough mixes by the recording engineer... Among those was "Pyramid of the Moon," which instantly became an office favorite. The band were convinced to complete it and release it.

"Pyramid of the Sun" (live) - probably...

New Album: Pyramid of the Sun (11/9/2010)
Pyramid includes two collaborations with friend and tourmate Steve Moore (Zombi) in the form of the Cluster-meets-Jan Hammer scorcher "They’ll No More Suffer From Thirst" and the synth-heavy dance epic "Oaxaca". Closing the album is the bittersweet "Bye M’Friend, Goodbye," a motorik summer punk jam that splits the difference between Wipers and Neu! and carries the bittersweet distinction of being one of the band’s finest songs, and the final track written and recorded with Fuchs.

Steve Moore is actually Zombi's non-drummer synth/bassist, but I don't think his involvement in the album would create any confusion about the drummer situation anyway.

O yeah, here's some Maserati in-the-studio vids (Austin, TX):

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Gnodding Out with Hills of White

I'm gonna grab the temporary opportunity to get a post up. Here's some good stuff off the groovy collaboration Gnod Drop Out with White Hills II (2010). We've met White Hills before. Gnod adds some British avant-electronics to their American space-rock stylings. I'd been trying to find this one to order online, even with all the the international intrigue and expense. But one day, it just appeared at Vinal Edge! Similar story to the White Hills cd - I luck out there a lot.

Gnod Drop Out II
This is a double-LP only, not yet available on CD that I know of. So you get some pops & crackles on the audio...

"Run-A-Round" from Gnod Drop Out with White Hills (2010)

Other than some brief intro's and interludes, it's mostly long-form jam-outs kinda like that. This tune's the first one, after a lil' free acoustic pick-and-scrape.

"Well Hang" from Gnod Drop Out with White Hills (2010)

Psych-out forever!! Sort of a middle ground here - kinda krauty, a bit of mellow drift, but still quite spacy. Goes well with fish or fowl.

Gnod/White Hills - Drop Out

Thanks to Hypetrak!! Definitely a standout... gradual builds and shifts with synth burbles to flavor the pathways. The bass 'n' drums are good enough for me, but phase 2 brings in some kinetic synth riffing, then the final turn unleashes the guitar freak-out. I think that SoundCloud track is downloadable.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Totems of the Pacific Northwest

I liked the Master Musicians of Bukkake's Totem One so much, I named it the #11 overall (Non-Metal) album of 2009. Unfortunately the sequel, aptly named Totem Two (2010), doesn't quite reach those levels. However, I'm coming around to some of its charms after a slow start.

"Patmos" from Totem Two (2010)

A slow start, much like the record itself. The first two tracks are too repetitive for their length, or too long for their repititions. I was starting to get the idea this was like a bonus disc of leftovers and outtakes. But things get more interesting after that. I put the last track up there first, because it's really sweet. The middle three songs do some different things, and are short enough that I think I can fit all of them on one clip... and so I do.

"The Heresy of Origen," "Coincidentia Oppositorum," and
"The Crystal Reformation" from Totem Two (2010)

"Origen" is almost church-like with its sacred organ plus tasteful electronics. Then the conincidence of opposites is kinda classical with its cinema strings and mournful trombone. Then the symphony of guitar feedback and ritual cymbals interlude gets closer to normal Bukkake territory. Anyway, if I can eventually dig into the first 20 minutes of this one, that would help the situation.

But I think One would still have a significant edge. Here's some songs from last year's release...

"People of the Drifting Houses" from Totem One (2009)

"Eaglewolf" from Totem One (2009)

Possible exchoes of the majestic Owlbear?? Here's "Schism/Prism (live)" again. And also the performance from Roadburn Festival '08 in two parts [Part 1 / Part 2].