Thursday, December 25, 2014

cremation lily - lines of golden light.



Cremation Lily - Lines Of Golden Light

49:49

96.84 MB

1. Screen Reflections In The Neon Window
2. Red Blankets Of A Muslim Girl
3. Blue Light On Black Skin
4. For A Modern Union
5. Happiness In Balance
6. Fascination Bodies
7. Filtered Images
8. Deluxe
9. The Storms Of Summer
10. Limousine Eyelash Wish




merry christmas, here's one of the best cassette packages of the year.

sold out from the label, these weren't cheap...especially shipping to the united states.

but they were totally worth it.

full-color booklet, five cassettes, plus a handful of small seashells.

a beautiful package for absolutely timeless music.

perfect for desolate winter days and hot summer nights alike.

the soundtrack to a film I'll make one day.

any additional description is meaningless.

just listen, absorb, and reflect.

and be thankful for all that you have, whatever that may be.




(for preview purposes only.)





Tuesday, December 23, 2014

natural assembly - with silence and tears.



Natural Assembly - With Silence And Tears

11:59

22.49 MB

1. When We Two Parted
2. Foundations



it's been a while since natural assembly released any new material, but zen zsigo and jesse cannon have finally graced us with two new tracks.

having been a huge fan of the "torn from infinity" seven-inch, I was obviously excited to grab this one. and although shipping is pricey from the united kingdom, everything zen's involved with is pure gold, so I didn't even try to resist.

musically, this is in the same vein as previous natural assembly material, but there's a real and tangible sense of excitement, almost optimism, that was missing from torn from infinity.

things are much more upbeat and uptempo and I for one hope this means more great material is to come in the new year.

if for some reason you're a fan of body of light or tollund men but haven't heard any natural assembly, check this out right now.

copies are sold out from the label so keep an eye on discogs.




(for preview purposes only.)





Monday, December 15, 2014

the ebony tower / she walks crooked - dedicated to william s. burroughs.



The Ebony Tower / She Walks Crooked - Dedicated To William S. Burroughs

1:01:11

111.58 MB

1. The Ebony Tower - Junky
2. She Walks Crooked - Queer



two slabs of literary harsh noise wall from the ebony tower and she walks crooked, fixated on the works of william s. burroughs.

"junky" was the first piece of burroughs' writing that I ever read and it definitely left a lasting impression on me. his depiction of heroin addition in early 1950's new york is graphic and enthralling. originally published as a trashy pulp novel by ace books under a pseudonym but once "naked lunch" became a hit, it was reprinted under burroughs' real name.

"queer" was originally intended as a companion piece to "junky" but wasn't published until much later for a variety of reasons - controversial subject matter, unknown writer, etc. - but was finally released in 1985.

I'm a big fan of the ebony tower, so I'm excited to be able to share this split with she walks crooked, with whom I was previously unfamiliar. each side of this tape is a brutal, unrelenting wall, designed to obliterate all distraction and unnecessary thought.

and they do just that.

copies are still available and surprisingly affordable, so don't miss out.




(buy a copy.)


(for preview purposes only.)





Monday, December 8, 2014

cory strand - mulholland drive (totality).



Cory Strand - Mulholland Drive (Totality)

2:26:35

97.66 MB + 97.66 MB + 75.01 MB

1. Mulholland Drive (Totality)



my love for mulholland drive (and lost highway) has been documented before.

it was truly instrumental in re-catalyzing my love of film as an artistic medium, and for driving me down the creative path that I'm still navigating as we speak.

my appreciation for, and admiration of, cory strand's work has also been documented before, so when he announced a handful of works based on different aspects of mulholland drive's audio, I had to bite.

while two of the three releases are score manipulations, the one that really caught my eye was the third - a total re-working of the film's audio track.

clocking in at close to two and a half hours, this is not an easy listen by any means. it's by turns ambient, destructive, and contemplative - much like the film itself.

the track arrives on a DVD-R in AIFF format, so if you want the original lossless version, you'll have to grab a copy for yourself - there are still one or two available as of this writing.

I've split this into three RAR files - download all three, then extract. it works, I've tested it.

and, as always - buy something from altar of waste and support cory's work...he's given us all so much, and there's still so much more to come, especially with his newly-unveiled subscription series.

no matter what sub-sub-genre you're into, he'll have something perfect.




(buy a copy from altar of waste.)


(part one.)


(part two.)


(part three.)





Tuesday, December 2, 2014

cremation lily & false moniker - the storms of the summer.



Cremation Lily & False Moniker - The Storms Of The Summer

10:27

19.81 MB

1. Nights Before - Nightlights Of England
2. Mornings After - Nightlife Of Belgium



somewhere along the line I forgot to post this...cremation lily has undergone a rather drastic stylistic change in the last year or so, with most releases being ambient, synth-based soundscapes.

that's not to say I dislike this new direction - zen is able to create a tangible sense of nostalgia that seems to be missing from the work of too many other artists who make similar music...the most obvious (and successful) of which is croatian amor, a comparison that others have already made.

these two tracks pick up right where the cremation lily/false moniker collaboration on the "feeding its young..." compilation left off - warm tones evoke imagined memories of summers both past and yet to come.

while I'd love to get some more power electronics from zen, this material is still great, just in a very different way...but thankfully the two styles are both strangely complementary and provide a really beautiful juxtaposition.

honestly, cremation lily never disappoints - a 5x cassette box is for sale right now, as is the new natural assembly tape.

somehow both of those are still available, so don't hesitate.

I can't wait to see what new directions this project takes in the years to come.




(for preview purposes only.)


(buy something from strange rules.)





Monday, December 1, 2014

geräuschmanufaktur.






do I really need to preface these submissions anymore?

I get plenty.

most don't impress me.

the ones that do, they get promoted here.

that's it.

but I especially enjoy when people volunteer to send me physical copies. so when the man behind geräushmanufaktur offered to send me an assortment of his releases, I was excited...but unsure of what to expect.

and instead of doing a ton of research on the label before the materials even arrived, I held off and waited - I wanted everything to remain as unspoiled as possible.



I'm glad I did.

not only are these release sonically stellar, the packaging is top-notch and on par with some of the best stuff out there. quality printing, great cardstock, additional inserts - everything is dark but colorful, unsettling but beautiful.




of everything that I've heard, though, one has really grabbed me in an unexpected way - j.adolphe's collaboration with dead body collection, "deep into the halls," demands to be seen, heard, and experienced.

we're all familiar with dr. alex's monolithic walls, but j.adolphe's manipulation brings everything to life in a completely new way - he adds ambience, vocals, and real variety to the walls of static that combine to make for an obscenely compelling listen.

and the packaging is fantastic, too.

seriously, don't miss this tape - or any of the others, for that matter. releases from tanner garza and vomir are also great, and if you're in the mood for something a little more on the ambient side, pick up any of the j.adolphe solo recordings - there are plenty to choose from.


and up next is a collaborative release from dead body collection, with manipulations from the rita, vomir, and werewolf jerusalem.

wow.

keep an eye on this label.




(stream "deep into the halls.")





Monday, November 24, 2014

noir sur noir - an interview.




here's the first entry in what will hopefully become a regular feature...but interviews are hard, at least formulating the right questions to make one interesting is hard. most "journalists" go through rote, hackneyed questions that don't really elucidate anything new about the artist or creator at hand.

but a few interviews lately have inspired me, and a large part of my day job is to ask questions and understand problems, so I figured it shouldn't be too hard to get that to translate...although at this early stage, I'm certainly open to suggestions.

anyway, I've shared several NSN releases before. and not only is the musical content itself superb, the aesthetic presented by the label is one of the most cohesive, dark, and mysterious I've found. and with precious little information available about founder bruno julian available online, I'm sharing this interview so that all of you can see both the struggles that go into running such a well-curated label and the genuine sense of the gratification this type of creative effort is able to bring out despite some extreme hardships.

it's a long read, but what emerges is a portrait of modern artist who pushes himself harder than almost anyone I've ever encountered and perseveres in the face of circumstances that would reduce most people to nothing. and like all artists, he channels everything he has into his creations before letting them stand on their own.

that inner strength comes through so clearly in his work - I hope you all find him as inspiring as I do.

_____


why did you start NSN? what does it represent to you?

A few years ago, close friends of mine had releases ready to go, which they intended on publishing by themselves. I offered to release these tapes under a new label, which would be guided by very strict aesthetics, encouraging teamwork rather than having everyone working on their own.  NSN was born. NSN means a lot to me because it’s been founded with true close friends. It was also a pretty rough period for me health-wise. I still fight against the odds and NSN is really what keeps me sane and positive; having projects to work on, even if progression is a bit too slow for my taste.

when were you first drawn to noise and other experimental music? what drew you in and when did you know that this was something you wanted to dedicate yourself to?
I was drawn to noise because of my desire to push the extremes of sound even further. I’ve also been interested in the underground ever since I started listening to music, honestly. I've been into a lot of different underground metal sub-genres and around '92-‘93 I stumbled upon Ministry, NIN, Skinny Puppy, Sielwolf and the like. In the late 90s, let's say around '97-'98, I bought my first pure noise records. They were Aube's “Cardiac Strain” and Masonna’s “Frequency LSD,” both on Alien8 Recordings. I moved to Montreal in '99 and I was instantly hooked on the noise underground, giving a lot of my money to Malignant Records and a record store named Cheap Thrills. I also remember a Daniel Menche show where I said to myself, “this is what I want to do.” It was so intense musically and physically, so pure... I was sort of in a trance, the brutal wall of noise being so rich and textured it engulfed my whole self. It was a very important moment in my life. I had always wanted to be in a band or involved in something music-related and this event confirmed it. I worked on different projects since the mid-90s. Nothing was satisfying enough until 2005. I met a unique person and we founded HYENA HIVE. We did shows in Montreal, building a strong reputation with our short but intense live sets. In late 2009 I quit my job to dedicate all of my time to music and it started to be quite interesting with invitations to play outside the country. We did shows in San Francisco to start 2010 and a couple of live events in the province. Things were going great, we were as tight as we have ever been. On June 4th 2010, we were booked to play at the MUTEK festival in Montreal, but I never got there. I was in severe pain at the hospital, about to get an emergency surgery performed by a butcher. My life radically changed from that day on.


what other types of art do you draw inspiration from? what are some of your favorites?
I'm really into photography, although I can’t name many renowned photographers... Joel-Peter Witkin is certainly on top of them all, without a doubt. I can spend hours looking at the details of his work. The art of Pierre Soulages is also a very big influence. I’d love to see an exhibition like the one that Le Centre Pompidou has showcased. That must be colossal. The works of Karl Lemieux are also very inspiring for me, as are Bruce McClure’s. Writings by L-F Céline, Georges Battaille, Cormac McCarthy, Maurice G. Dantec and Caryl Férey, just to name a few. I'm also a big fan of Lamashtu and Kristian Olsson for their stunning visual works. I can list a lot more, like Kubrick, Peter Watkins, Werner Herzog, Alberto Breccia and Héctor Oesterheld for “L'éternaute,” Brian Wood (DMZ)... All of them have, in different ways, inspired me.

what do you think of the renewed interest in cassette tapes? does it make you hopeful or cautious?
I think this renewed interest is a good thing. There's a lot of independent labels emerging which started with tape releases, and they’re now releasing vinyls. Artists can have nice, DIY, low cost items to put on the merch table. The only negative point I can see, as a label owner’s point of view, is that the production of pro-duplicated tapes takes more time than it used to.

how do you find material to release? what do you look for in a potential release?
For the first releases, I've worked with close friends of mine. I'm lucky to be surrounded with talented individuals who are dedicated to their art. Unless it's someone from my surroundings, I directly contact the artists that I feel would be suited for NSN. I'm always looking for the same thing: dedicated people who can deliver unique material with a strong concept and/or signature. I also apply very strict and coherent visual aesthetics to NSN releases, so those working with me have to accept that.


have you been successful in maintaining what you originally set out to do?
As for the aesthetics, I'm perfectly into what I've intended to do. But, as I mentioned earlier, the only drawback is with the amount of releases and the too long intervals between them. Ideally I'd like to release batches of minimum 2 or 3 items at the time, 3 to 4 times a year. I'm quite far from this pace, but as soon as I get better I'll work hard to make this happen. But make no mistake, I still prefer to have no release for a while than releasing stuff just for the thrill of releasing. I want to be proud of each item with the NSN crest on it.

can you talk a little about the medical problems you've had over the last few years?
Yeah, sure. I'll do a summary of it. I think I have to do it so people will have a better understanding of some subjects I approach with MAUSSADE. It's also the main reason why NSN hasn't been as productive as I intended it to be. Since 2010, I’ve spent 29 months at the hospital. Each day there's something happening with your body or with your immediate surroundings. It can be just about anything, and most of the time, ranges from not fun at all to downright dramatic. I'm actually surprised I haven’t been more mentally affected.
About my health issues: I’ve always had digestive problems from as far as I can remember. Nothing to worry about, I thought. At times it was more painful, but I used to bear with it since pain and physical discomfort have always been part of my life. I knew it would eventually get worse, but I was thinking some time in my old days, if I even get there. On Friday June 4th 2010, I was having dinner with two good friends of mine and we were preparing for a HYENA HIVE performance at the MUTEK Festival later that night. Suddenly, in less than 10 minutes, everything went from “nothing to worry about” to a pain so intense that I was sweating huge beads, lying down on the bed, unable to walk. They brought me to the closest hospital and an emergency surgery was needed because of a sigmoid volvulus situation. It was pretty serious because I had tissues that were in the process of necrosis. Because of the sedation, I don't remember much of that night. One detail though: the nurse's fuckin' big raelian pendant, the one with the swastika in the David's star. She gave me the first shot of morphine and I thought I would wake up on a spaceship. It wasn't a spaceship and the surgeon did a horrible job. I spent one month there, mostly in the intensive care unit. Three months later, thanks to the generalist surgeon's job I had, I was in septic shock. I had another volvulus, but at the site of my surgery. Friends of mine were with me and called the ambulance. They insisted on going to a different hospital than the first one I was treated at. That decision saved my life for sure. I remember “touching Death's Hand” while in the ambulance. The pain was unbearable, but when I closed my eyes and “let it go”, the pain disappeared instantly and I felt that I was going. It was so tempting to stop fighting. The paramedic brought me back three times during the ride. It's one of the most intense episodes of my life for sure. In November 2010, after two surgeries and a couple of complications, I was out for good to recover at home.
Fast forward to November 2012. I had to undergo another surgery, but a simple one: repair an abdominal hernia via laparoscopy. Unfortunately, something bad happened during to process and they had to cut me open once again. They had to do an abdominal reconstruction, so I was in very bad shape when I woke up. I'll skip details, but the situation went from bad to worse with numerous complications. The chronic pain is always reminding me of my situation. There's also the dependence to opiates that came with the package deal. I'm still hospitalized to this day. It's been 23 months so far. I'll probably get out in November (2014). However, through all of those events, I've discovered a mental strength I wasn't aware I had. It has also redefined my meaning of pain.


how have your health problems affected your outlook on your own life itself and the lives of those around you?
Since I'm still hospitalized as we speak, there are probably a lot of aspects of my personality that have changed which I'm still unaware of. However, I do recognize certain changes. Before, I wasn't living as if there’s no tomorrow like I am now. I know my life won't be as long as I thought it would be and what’s left of it will probably be rough most of the time. I have to grasp every moment, I'm used to making the best out of them. I have to produce and work on my passions more desperately than ever before.
I don't waste time with people that are not my closest friends. Before, I was open to hearing anybody’s story and even helping them with their issues. Now, I've realized that most of them are just complaining because they are too lazy to move on and face the truth of their pathetic existence.
I'm way more direct and to the point. I've lost some friends because of that. Some people don't accept being criticized for their life choices. They ask for advice or your opinion and when it's not the way they want it to be, they get offended. I've burned a lot of patience credits in those hospital beds... But as for the select few I've chosen, and who have decided to stay with me even in those difficult times, I would die for any of them, anytime. 

how have these traumatic, life-altering experiences changed your view of noise and what it's capable of expressing?
I've always been closely bonded with my noise creations. I use them as a way to express the most intense side of my personality when I perform live and also alone in the studio. When the noises are loud enough I can immerse myself in a trance-like condition. Nowadays, those bonds are even more meaningful and strong, since music is the only thing that I have left to keep myself sane. I've been dispossessed of my physical health, so letting the steam out by doing intense biking or any other demanding activity has not been possible for a long time. I don't even know if it will ever be possible again. So yes, those experiences changed my view of noise and what it's capable of expressing. Before, it was very important for my equilibrium. Now, it's still there for my mental health, but  it's also vital for my survival. It's the last line of defense. If I stop doing my noise-related activities, in the situation I'm in now, I'll feel like I'm just a chunk of sick meat, waiting for the end. MAUSSADE was born while I was hospitalized in 2010. I wanted a project to express my inner self and approach subjects very close to my feelings and emotions. It's even truer today and there’s now a large dimension dedicated to pain, the chronic one I feel every day and the unbearable ones that I've been through.

is there a philosophy behind both hyena hive and NSN? has that philosophy changed since you've been hospitalized?
With HYENA HIVE, there's no philosophy if not its negation in act. When we perform, we create a closed space of volume and energy where all the structures are temporarily suspended. This is witchcraft: it expands time and strikes the body: no one left unscathed, neither we nor they... I really miss those live events.

is there anything about your label that you'd like to go back and do differently?
Probably do better promotion right at the beginning. I should’ve been more pro-active to find projects wanting to have a release on NSN. 


vomir's "en dehors, en rien" is probably my favorite release of yours, not only for the sound but for the statement and "raison d'etre" that it puts forth about a genre that would bewilder, if not frighten, most people. what was it like working with romain perrot and how important do you think philosophy is in a genre as ambiguous as noise?
Working with Romain was pretty easy. I asked him if he wanted to do a release for NSN and suggested the concept of including in each oversized case a badge and the HNW manifesto he had written. He accepted right away and I had “carte blanche” for the artwork, which is a good thing since I have pretty strict guidelines regarding this aspect.
As for the importance of philosophy in noise music, I'm personally really interested into any theory, manifesto or intellectual aspect of a project and/or release. Even if it's about a theory I don't accept or follow. Food for thought. Also, when it's well done it brings a lot more deepness to the whole experience. 

with NSN coming back to life, what are your plans for the future?
I wish I were able to release material on a more regular basis than what I've done so far. Circumstances have obviously been against me with all those health issues, but I'm working hard to keep NSN rolling with a constant flow of releases on different analog platforms. Ideally, I'd like to release LPs in a near future, but it all depends, just like everything else, on when and how I'll be able to get back in shape. I'm still quite proud of NSN06 and NSN10 which have been conceptualized, designed and assembled entirely from my hospital bed, with the help of good friends for the printing stage.


with all that's happened, what inspires you to continue releasing new music?
My passion for it and the need to have something creative and worthwhile to do. As I said before, if I didn't have those projects running, I would probably be half-crazy, really depressed or maybe dead... Actually, without it, I would have killed myself, plain and simple.

do you have any advice for fledgling labels?
Have a strong visual identity and be attentive to details when assembling your releases. DIY doesn't mean it should look like it's been conceived by a five-year-old kid. Be aware that shipping costs are now very expensive. Have good communication with your artists and various partners. Keep them informed about the progress of your work. Quality over quantity. Anytime. Do it because you're passionate. You'll lose money for sure at the beginning.

care to go into a little more detail about any planned releases?
I'm currently working on releases for my other label, MYZANTHENOTAPH. It will be a series of very limited tapes about recent conflicts, a subject where there's a lot of material to work with lately...I have a couple of releases ready with MAUSSADE. I'm also working on a compilation to be released on NSN in the first quarter of 2015, if everything goes fine. As soon as my physical condition allows it, HYENA HIVE will be back on track to record new material. But don't expect a live performance anytime soon from this act, since HYENA HIVE's shows are quite intense, to say the least. There are a couple of other releases in the NSN pipeline, but I'll keep them secret for the moment... Let’s just say that one of my favorite Scandinavian acts will offer a release for NSN. I hope that my health will be better and that I'll finally have the chance to manage a decent pace between the releases, although I’ll always stand for quality over quantity. 


_____


quality over quantity...a sentiment I definitely stand behind.

I'd like to extend an enormous thank-you to bruno for sharing so thoroughly. I'm astounded by his journey and his ability to soldier on in the face of constant life-threatening setbacks...truly inspirational, and I don't use that term lightly.

and guess what - he's out of the hospital now and I know that he's eager to get back to all things music- and label-related. and, of course, living a fulfilling life far from any hospital beds.

so...please support NSN and all affiliated projects - everything comes highly recommended. check out hyena hive's most recent release via the link below, and then buy a copy for your collection. you should all already own NSN's vomir release, but in case you don't, it's still available.

don't hesitate.




(support NSN.)


(listen to hyena hive.)





Friday, November 21, 2014

herukrat - I bear witness.



Herukrat - I Bear Witness

31:03

59.09 MB

1. Call To Prayer
2. My Hand Belongs To The Creator Of The World
3. Zikr Of As-Salaam
4. QSIS (Traitors)
5. Al-Fatiha On The Dead
6. Procession Of Our Martyrs
7. Taking Shahada


having spent the last week listening to this first full-length from herukrat, I can't describe how pleased I am that it's finally been unleashed upon the rest of the world.

jackson has been creating harsh noise under this moniker for a couple of years now, and with this latest release, he's really come into his own.

don't get me wrong, I love that early material...but this is so much more evolved, so much more varied, and so much more unique than pretty much anything else out there right now that it's simply staggering.

the influence of islam has been incorporated so perfectly that it's quickly become an inextricable part of the herukrat identity. the sounds, concepts, and culture are all at the forefront here, underscored by dramatic and violent first-rate power electronics.

even without the islamic direction, the music here is still more than worthy of your attention.

check it out via the link below and be sure to grab a copy from total black while it's still in stock.

easily one of the best power electronics releases of the year.




(for preview purposes only.)


(buy a copy from total black.)





Tuesday, November 18, 2014

fresh water girls / sissisters.



Fresh Water Girls / Sissisters

19:49

38.09 MB

1. Fresh Water Girls - Water Slaughter
2. Sissisters - Soft Need
3. Sissisters - Soft Power



more destructive power electronics fresh water girls and sissisters via girl tapes.

received this from total black a while ago.

great packaging, too, for this short but dense slab of brutality from two artists you should recognize. not much more to say about this one other than it's an excellent release and you all should track it down, along with the other girl tapes releases.

presumably sold out from the label, nor are any copies available on discogs, so keep an eye out.

for a few more girl tapes releases, check out their bandcamp page.




(for preview purposes only.)





Friday, November 14, 2014

standard model catastrophes.




you all know that I don't usually ask for much other than to buy physical releases to support the artists we all love. you probably also know that I don't often mix work with everything that I do outside of work.

but if you're in the NYC area, I'd love it if you could find the time to come out to brooklyn for an incredible art show focused on the works of josh graham that I've spent the last two months curating.

as I'm sure most of you already know, josh is an amazing artist, having worked with bands like neurosis, dillinger escape plan, isis, and eyehategod. he's also been a member of battle of mice, red sparowes, and a storm of light, and did all of the graphic design and concert visuals for all three acts.


more recently he's been serving as soundgarden's creative director, overseeing every visual aspect of the band - from music videos and merch designs to concert visuals and album packaging, josh does it all.

although I've been handling all things audio-visual at the made in NY media center for more than a year now, this is the first show that I've curated, and josh's work is perfect for the space.

on display will be videos he's created for soundgarden, neurosis, a storm of light, vattnet viskar, isis, dillinger escape plan, eyehategod, and even jay z and drake, as well as a couple of josh's own art pieces.


but the centerpiece of the show is a brand new, custom-designed piece, "watchmaker," made specifically for our 360-degree projection system that's edited to one song by gazelle twin and two of josh's own ambient soundscapes.

here's a statement on this new work from the artist himself:

"The question is being asked all over the world: Are we entering a new Cold War? Some say we are already in the midst of it. Others are more optimistic. Regardless, the global deterioration of peace is impossible to deny. While the idea of a full-scale nuclear war seems impossibly ridiculous, the number of nuclear weapons around the world are both astounding and terrifying. Will mankind destroy itself? Maybe. Maybe not. In the meantime, Watchmaker focuses on the strange and surreal beauty of these weapons, and what the last “minutes to midnight” might look like."

as much as I'd love to post photos, they just don't do this piece justice...it needs to be seen, heard, experienced.

anything else just falls short.


the opening reception will be from 6-9p on thursday, 12/4. admission is free. josh will be in attendance and there will be free wine and beer.

so come by, say hello, and show your support.

the work is absolutely amazing and I couldn't be more excited to finally be able to show it off.

you will not be disappointed.

I promise.




(official event page.)





Monday, November 10, 2014

year two - a state of the union.





another year has passed...flown by entirely too quickly, but there are no regrets - it's been a good one, and I hope you all agree.

fewer posts, but higher quality posts - at least I'd like to think so.

with all of your help, I've more than doubled my page views from year one.

so give yourselves a round of applause.

looking forward to starting year three...never thought I'd say that, but it's here. plenty of new content on the horizon as I continue to seek out the best, most thought-provoking new and old releases that aren't available anywhere else in digital form.

and there will be a few other surprises along the way.

it's been tough, at times - work never stops, and I think I've put in more hours this past year than my last few jobs combined. but I'm still excited to share new finds, ripping and scanning as soon as items are received in a rush to get new gems out to all of you.

even more friends have been made, record labels discovered, obscure releases unearthed and brought to light.

and without your support, I wouldn't have that excitement, that drive to share. knowing that those efforts are appreciated means the world to me and propels me forward, forces me to search for anything new and exciting.

so thank you all - again. for sticking with me, for sharing my posts, and to the artists and labels for letting your work be shared - I hope it's all been beneficial.

here's to another year of exciting new musical and artistic discoveries.





Friday, November 7, 2014

the ebony tower - 1Q84.



The Ebony Tower - 1Q84

6:00:00

118.28MB + 114.2MB + 115.62MB + 115.68MB + 115.45MB + 118.43MB

1. Green Peas
2. Air Chrysalis
3. The Little People
4. Isolation
5. Two Moons
6. Unity



with HNW, context is everything.

context gives this art meaning - whether it's vomir's philosophical musings, the rita's preoccupation with stocking and sharks, or richard ramirez's obsession with b-level horror movies, without context the sound means nothing.

so when altar of waste announced this six-disc set inspired haruki murakami's novel 1Q84, it certainly grabbed my attention - you don't hear of a lot of HNW inspired by works of literature.

but that's exactly what the ebony tower specializes in - creating brutal walls inspired by a variety of iconic literary works.

and although I have yet to finish 1Q84 (I started but never finished it when it first came out and have recently re-started), it's a very thought-provoking work and this collection provides a unique compliment to the written word.

honestly, I wanted to have the book finished so this could be a more thorough discourse...but getting through nine hundred-plus pages in a microscopic font takes time and I've been busy.

nevertheless, I love this collection and highly recommend it (and the rest of the ebony tower's discography) to anyone looking for a new angle on HNW.

there are only one or two copies left at the altar of waste store, so act fast.




(buy a copy from altar of waste.)


(disc one.)

(disc two.)

(disc three.)

(disc four.)

(disc five.)

(disc six.)





Thursday, October 30, 2014

arizmenda - stillbirth in the temple of venus.



Arizmenda - Stillbirth In The Temple Of Venus

57:05

120.4 MB

1. Scabbed Knees, Rope and Vaseline
2. Cum In Your Wound
3. Rotted Seed...Poisoned Egg
4. Innocence And Illness 
5. Satyriasis
6. Voices In My Bed


that's right - I don't know most of the track titles for this one.

the label hasn't released the names of the rest of the tracks, they're not listed on this limited tour version of the tape, and a few cursory internet searches didn't reveal anything, so it is what it is...as of now, I've left them untitled, but I'll happily go back in and add them once they're available.

UPDATE: track titles have been added thanks to an anonymous commenter. thanks.

if you've been into the first two arizmenda releases, this one will be familiar territory...that's not necessarily a bad thing, but a little musical growth would be nice...it's still that swirling, chaotic black metal we all know so well.

nevertheless, it's an enjoyable release and I know I need to spend more time with it...these are all just rough first impressions. I'm guessing that this one will reveal more of itself over time, as the band's first two albums did so expertly...just need to give it some time.

the dubbing quality isn't the best, a fact made more apparent when listening with headphones, but it's a solid album that will appeal to fans of the band, the label, and the genre.

a few copies should still be available via the link below. I assume digital and vinyl versions will be available at some point soon, but who knows.




(buy a copy from crepusculo negro.)


(for preview purposes only.)





Monday, October 27, 2014

volahn - aq'ab'al.



Volahn - Aq'Ab'Al

58:19

130.26 MB

1. Najtir ichik
2. Halhi K'ohba
3. Bonampak
4. Quetzalcoatl
5. Koyopa
6. Nawalik



this is the "juarez, mexico" pressing of the new volahn album, which to the best of my knowledge has yet to see an official pressing or even digital release, aside from the first two tracks.

I like it quite a bit more than the new arizmenda album, which I'll also post soon...not that the other is bad, there's just a lot more variety here and you can hear some genuine musicianship. the recording quality isn't great, but it's clear enough, so hopefully this rip will tide everyone over until an official digital version comes out.

as I think I've mentioned before, I don't condone the label's actions nor the alleged actions of certain members of the faction, but the music remains something that is worthy of attention. and the fact that I got these tapes at all, let alone surprisingly quickly, definitely bodes well for the future of their operations.

check the crepusculo negro store for copies of this as well as a few other new tapes and splits. believe it or not, I think they're really trying to make amends for their past behavior...

whether or not they're worth forgiving?

that's up to you.




(buy a copy from crepusculo negro.)


(link removed by request, even though the request was five months too late.)





Thursday, October 23, 2014

nepoštovanje i glupo - unutarnji rat.



Nepoštovanje I Glupo - Unutarnji Rat

14:57

28.09 MB

1. I
 2. II
3. III
4. IV


the final new release from total black that hasn't been posted, this debut tape from nepoštovanje i glupo is a strange one...I'm tempted to describe it as ambient HNW. there are walls here, sure, but they're not of the overwhelming, consciousness-destroying variety put out by the rita or dead body collection or vomir.

they're softer; a little more droning and ambient than the usual militant walls with which we're all familiar. there's also a decent variety to the tones here, too - not everything is quite as buried in the mix as it usually is, either.

copies are sold out from the source, but one copy is for sale on discogs, so grab it if you like what you hear.

and buy stuff from total black.




(for preview purposes only.)





Saturday, October 18, 2014

petals - abstention.



Petals - Abstention

38:02

71.04 MB

1. Recursive Application
2. Operation And Maintenance


from the most recent strange rules batch comes this surprisingly lengthy (by SR standards, anyway) tape from petals, a.k.a kevin sanders.

the first side is more ambient, the second side is more noisy, but they're both very droning and moody, definitely in the vein of culver's harsh drones. more of sanders' work can be found on his extensive bandcamp page.

it's all very soothing and contemplative - definitely an enjoyable release that's piqued my interest...really looking forward to exploring kevin's work further when I have the time.

copies are sold out from the source so keep an eye on discogs.




(for preview purposes only.)





Thursday, October 9, 2014

skullflower / mastery.





Skullflower / Mastery

42:13

78.49 MB

1. Skullflower - Wolf Age
2. Skullflower - Red Crystal Serpent
3. Skullflower - Black Sunshine
4. Mastery - Blood Electric


skullflower is a long-running noise project from matthew bower of korperschwache that features a rotating cast of members...most notably including, at one time or another, lee stokoe of culver and george proctor of white medal.

mastery is a raw black metal project from ephemeral domignostika whose demo compilation, "barbaric usurpation of the hypereonic black metal throne," is essential listening.

both of these artists should be on your radar, but if not, this is a fine place to start.

released last year by cold spring records, this vinyl-only release was limited to five hundred copies, including 100 hand-numbered copies on green marble vinyl. these two artists might seem too divergent for a successful split, but they actually compliment each other quite nicely.

it's all very dense but unfurls itself perfectly after just a few listens - and any new mastery material is much appreciated. although the project has been active sine 2005, only two new recording have surfaced in the last few years, the other being a split with palace of worms that the flenser released in 2012.

copies are sold out from the label but are available on discogs - definitely a worthy addition to any noise or black metal fan's collection.




(for preview purposes only.)





Friday, October 3, 2014

cory strand - cremaster two: a reinterpretation.



Cory Strand - Cremaster 2: A Reinterpretation

6:44:44

104.08MB + 115.81MB + 117.64MB + 109MB + 112.37MB + 118.08MB

1. Compression Prelude
2. Seance
3. The Man In Black
4. The Ballad Of Gary Gilmore
5. Desert Hymn
6. Interlude Saline I
7. Interlude Saline II
8. The Executioner's Step
9. The Drones' Exposition
10. Postlude Retreat



honestly, I never thought I'd be sharing a CD-based release with all of you.

really, I thought it was totally beyond the realm of possibility. I mean, what comes out on CD that isn't also available either digitally or in a true analog format?

not much...except for cory strand's masterful soundtrack reworkings that break down music from films that we all know and love, and transforms those melodies into something else entirely.

this six-disc reinterpretation of jonathan bepler's cremaster two score was limited to five copies and they're all gone.

with regard to matthew barney's cremaster series itself, I have very mixed feelings. barney is an incredibly gifted visual artist, sculptor, designer, and performance artist.

except that he's not a filmmaker. and it shows.

his sense of pacing is terrible, his editing is boring and his camera work is utilitarian.

but goddamn is he able to create some stunningly beautiful tableaus.

the set decoration, prop design, wardrobe - it's all remarkable and incredibly evocative of other worlds most people could never imagine. because of all this, his films, to me, make for better trailers than full-length viewing experiences.

strand's reinterpretation of the soundtrack from barney's second cremaster film, as a whole, definitely leans more toward the ambient side of the spectrum - not dissimilar from barney's film. but there are some epic wall noise tracks on here, too. at nearly seven hours in length, it's all a lot to take in. but much like barney's work, I think that's the point. and also like the films, I don't love everything here - some of it's a little too ambient for me, but it's all about the experience.

and there's more than enough great HNW to make this an experience well worth your time. if you're interested in learning more about the cremaster films, definitely check out this book - it's out of print and thus not cheap, but it's filled with incredible imagery and, in my mind, makes for a better experience than the actual films - I've had a copy for years now and I definitely revisit it more than the films themselves. "the order," a segment from cremaster three, is also available on DVD.

for more of strand's work, check out his webstore and blog - many items are sold out but there are still plenty of reinterpretations of both modern and classic films available for purchase. if they're even half as thought-provoking as this one, they're more than worth the price of admission.




(buy something from altar of waste.)


(disc one.)

(disc two.)

(disc three.)

(disc four.)

(disc five.)

(disc six.)





Monday, September 29, 2014

summer isle / aught void.






summer isle is the a brand new label started by sole death kneel member max klebanoff and sole RM member rita mikhael.

cassette releases sit right alongside zines in the summer isle store and the aesthetic is nothing if not consistently stark and beautiful.

both "crown vetch"  by RM and "french farewell" by death kneel feature great packaging and a host of extras, ranging from buttons to business cards.

and although it isn't a summer isle release, death kneel has another new tape, lilac & benzine, out now on aught void - another label that came to my attention only recently. the packaging for this one is simply beautiful - a clear cassette tucked inside a stamped manila envelope along with a zine and a dried lilac.

seriously, it's perfect in both form and content, and easily stands as one of my favorite tapes so far this year. and while you're over at the aught void bandcamp page, be sure to check out their newest release from vomir, as well as the harsh noise waltz compilation.

honestly, I can't recommend any these releases highly enough. max only has two releases under his "death kneel" belt but he and rita are well on their way to being a truly unique creative force in the power electronics scene.

at this point, my only concern is his ability to sustain such a high level of quality going forward...but it's definitely been done before.

I'm genuinely excited for the future of their musical projects and label and you should be, too, so do your best to support them in these early days.




(summer isle on bandcamp.)


(aught void on bandcamp.)





Monday, September 22, 2014

an innocent young throat-cutter - no one heard the scream.



An Innocent Young Throat-Cutter - No One Heard The Scream

30:36

57.1 MB

1. Storm Murders
2. I'll Be Coming For You



unforgiving, unrelenting walls.

none of this should be surprising - ramirez and renzoni are masters of the genre and this is another worthy addition to their respective discographies.

nothing more to add, other than the excellent (as usual) artwork and layout from brett over at total black.

sold out from the label, keep an eye on discogs for used copies.




(for preview purposes only.)





Tuesday, September 16, 2014

unusual affairs - allure.



Unusual Affairs - Allure

9:48

18.39 MB

1. Backseat Sleeper
2. Laisse Tomber Les Pieds



so, the latest total black tapes took a while to reach me due to some colossal screw-ups by USPS.

they're the worst.

but now that they're finally in hand, here's a short-but-sweet release from unusual affairs. I fully intended to post their previous total black release, hooded remains, but it was put up for sale and streaming on their bandcamp page, so I held off.

this new one is a short release that still manages to pack a great punch - dialogue samples kick off each track before launching into brutal, multi-textured walls.

sometimes I think I can hear vocals buried in there, but it might just be my ears playing tricks on me...

nevertheless, this release is sold out from the source but copies are available on discogs. be sure to stop by the unusual affairs bandcamp page to throw a little money their way - I'm sure they'll appreciate it.

and, as always, support total black.




(for preview purposes only.)





Wednesday, September 10, 2014

nerium oleander - declination.



Nerium Oleander - Declination

14:00

26.97 MB

1. I
2. II
3. III
4. IV
5. V



it always fills me with nervous excitement when I find a brand new label that's just getting started, watching the artist or artists involved trying to nail down an aural esthetic, a visual aesthetic, solid design, customer service...everything that goes into running a label.

so when all of those things line up perfectly right off the bat, it's tough to know what to say...but instead of overthinking it, let's just let the music speak for itself, right?

this is the very first release from valentine sinclair's brand new clandestine compositions label and it's right up our collective alleys - raw black metal with a healthy dose of atmospherics to temper the fury. it's all very cold and bleak and all those other adjectives we love so much.

if you like what you hear, grab both this one and the other release that's currently up for sale.

excellent music, excellent aesthetic, and excellent customer service. nothing makes me happier - can't wait to see what comes next.




(buy a copy from clandestine compositions.)


(for preview purposes only.)





Saturday, September 6, 2014

elisha morningstar - inner wealth.



Elisha Morningstar - Inner Wealth

39:23

75.37 MB

1. Farewell (To Me)
2. Treasure (Per Pietro E Reginella)
3. Salerno
4. Repeating Is Truth



coming courtesy of brave mysteries, that colorful cover belies the fact that this is some pretty droning noise. but having released material on recent compilations from a dear girl called wendy and george proctor's turgid animal, that shouldn't come as a huge surprise.

elisha morningstar is a project from francesco tignola and specializes in synth-accented harsh drones. some of it gets pretty noisy, but in a way that I don't hear very frequently.

I'm not sure if that makes sense, but check it out and see for yourselves....I happen to find it interesting - very hypnotic and strangely soothing. copies are still available from brave mysteries via the link below.

and, as always, check out everything else brave mysteries has in stock, including releases from burial hex and kinit her.




(buy a copy from brave mysteries.)


(for preview purposes only.)