Monday, February 25, 2013

solhverv - 94/96 sessions.

Solhverv - 94/96 Sessions


102.14 MB

1. Blodig Hævn
2. Under Dødens Grumme Svøbe
3. Gravkammerets Gru
4. Månens Skygge
5. Blodig Hævn
6. Månens Skygge
7. Under Dødens Grumme Svøbe
8. Urtidens Ekko
9. Helvedskedelen
10. Tågernes Årtusinde

although there's not very much information on this one out there, here's an early posh isolation release compiling various recordings from solhverv - a now-defunct, punk-infused, raw black metal band from denmark - on two tapes housed in a slim, white vinyl case with two inserts.

from what I can tell, this double cassette release collects solhverv's demo on the first tape (with the tracks in a different order), and some rehearsals of tracks from that demo and their only proper full-length on the second tape.

there had been a version of this online a while ago, but all links seem to be dead now. needless to say, I hope you all enjoy it as much as I do. the first tape (tracks one - four) is great - fast and furious, bare-bones black metal with relatively good recording quality. the second tape (tracks five - ten), unfortunately, is obviously a rehearsal recording - the sound is low, it's filled with static, and the mastering is a mess - but that doesn't undermine the quality of the material nor the importance of these recordings.

if I didn't know any better, I could easily mistake this for a brand new, modern band using the most lo-fi recording techniques. to think that this was coming out of denmark as early as 1994 is staggering and it needs to be heard to be believed.

there's a digital version of their first and only full-length, tågernes årtusinde, available on amazon and itunes for less than nine dollars, so pick that up to (hopefully) support the band itself.

as for purchasing 94/96 sessions...well, this edition of 100 copies came out in 2009 and they're all long gone. your only chance to get ahold of one is discogs or ebay....but from what I've seen on ebay, it goes for a pretty penny. so keep an eye on discogs - as of this writing there two copies for sale.

this is definitely an essential recording for any and all black metal fans, especially if you're partial to the raw, fast, and lo-fi varieties.

(for preview purposes only.)

Friday, February 22, 2013

bandcamp roundup, part three - black metal bands.

bandcamp is so full of great black metal that I couldn't resist the urge to write a new post, this time focusing on bands instead of labels. these artists range from atmospheric to noisy to straight-up raw black metal. all of them are independent and most hand-manufacture their physical releases in very small quantities, so you can rest assured that they're always high-quality and worthy of your dollars.

most of you will probably be familiar with at least a couple of these artists, but if I introduce you to at least a single new one, then I'm doing my job...right?

wormlust - while not the most prolific, the quality of all wormlust material is fantastic. almost everything is available for streaming, including the new, yet-to-be-released (and best yet) album, "the feral wisdom." definitely check this one out - it'll surely appear on many best-of lists at the end of the year.

book of sand - "mourning star" appeared on one of my best-of lists for 2012 and every other book of sand release measures up very nicely, too. almost everything is available to stream, and a few are pay-what-you-like. styles range from noisy black metal to neo-folk, so be sure to check out a couple different releases - I'm sure you'll find something to like.

njiqahdda - this one probably should've been included in my labels list, but since most of the label's output is created solely by the members of this band, I figured it would fit in here as well. njiqahdda are one of the most prolific bands around today, having released dozens of albums and EPs under multiple band names. plus, everything is available for however much you see fit.

venowl - here's another group whose "patterns of failure" made one of my best-of lists for 2012 and for good reason - venowl produce some of the most caustic black metal around. a single track can go from ambience to harsh black metal to noise all in just a few short minutes. some albums are free, some are cheap and some are streaming-only, but they're all worth your time and money.

wheels within wheels - of all the locations from which black metal could emerge, I'd never pick kentucky. but that's exactly the location that wheels within wheels calls home. after a fantastic split with merkaba last year via the flenser and a couple others with the always-amazing panopticon, this is definitely a band to both catch up on and keep an eye out for.

jute gyte - I've already mentioned the incredible jute gyte here twice - first on my year-end list and again in my post about the svn okklt compilation from fallen empire - so why not make it three? everything here is amazing. each album has a distinct sound - some fall into the black metal category while others are ambient and some are noisy. and they're all pay-what-you-like, with great CD versions of each one available for only $9.

do your best to support these artists by buying their physical releases and donating via bandcamp. I'm sure they'll appreciate it.

and as always, chime in with your own picks in the comments below.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

various artists - séance.

V/A - Séance


184.74 MB

1. Aderlating - Albino Body Parts 
2. Flesh Coffin - Ritual
3. Luasa Raelon - Dreadnaught
4. HHL - Love's Shadow
5. Demonologists - Blizzard Of Bile
6. Josh Lay - Scar To Scar
7. Skin Graft - 2-2-12
8. Camisole - Menstrual Asylum
9. Winters In Osaka - Bread
10. Goat - Blasphemous And Graven
11. Vomir - Untitled
12. A Snake In The Garden - During Her Assistance
13. Ghoul Detail - Phidelus
14. Haare - The Insorcist
15. Persistence In Mourning - Repent (And Atrophy)

let's take a break from bandcamp roundups to gaze (and listen) in wonder at this amazing compilation from worthless recordings. I first heard about the epic double cassette via demian johnston's fantastic devd formats blog, where he gave it an absolutely stellar review.

available straight from the label for only $10 including shipping (to the US, at least), this is some of the best bang-for-your-buck around right now. not only is the packaging fantastic - two clear tapes with silver liners and stickers come in a double, brick-style norelco case - but these two cassettes also house some of the best harsh noise and power electronics around. luminaries such as vomir, demonologists, and winters in osaka all make an appearance, and there's even a funeral doom track from persistence in mourning thrown in at the end for good measure.

there's close to two hours of brutal harsh noise and anxiety-ridden ambience spread across these two tapes and I can't recommend this release highly enough. in fact, everything from worthless is going to be worth your dollars - they've got other releases from HHL, vomir, burial ground, and bad algorithm, plus, they've put the audio from two of my favorite films of all-time - naked lunch and twin peaks: fire walk with me - onto audio cassettes for your casual listening pleasure. only naked lunch is still available, though, so grab it while you can.

and snap up those other releases, too.

(buy a copy from the label.)

(for preview purposes only.)

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

bandcamp roundup, part two - black metal labels.

as should be pretty obvious by what I post on this blog, black metal is easily my favorite metal subgenre. what started out as a narrow, primarily scandinavian, journey into the darkest depths of human suffering has become incredibly diverse, reflecting a wide variety of sounds, ideologies, and nationalities. black metal from countries as disparate as south america, china, australia, and south africa have all added their own contributions to the larger community.

the sound of black metal has also transmogrified, becoming something that it's creators could never have foreseen - whether it's ambience, noise, punk, or classical orchestration, if you can imagine it, someone's probably done it (but whether they've been successful or not is a whole other story...). needless to say, the reason I started this blog was to share black metal, so with this post I'm bringing the blog back to its roots.

here are my recent black metal bandcamp favorites:

fallen empire - let's start off with an obvious one. I'm sure you're all familiar with fallen empire but I had to give them a shout-out here just for being so great - great music, great packaging, great customer service, and great people. all of their releases are not only excellent, but available digitally for as much (or as little) as you see fit.

legion blotan - this is another one that should be familiar to any faithful readers of this blog, as I've posted a couple of their releases in the past. and although their bandcamp isn't as fully-stocked as one might hope, they still have some great releases up that can be difficult to track down in any other format.

sol y nieve - while not strictly black metal, this label put out my favorite split of last year, between yellow eyes and monument, and their releases have some of the best packaging around. anything from teeth to feathers can be found in sol y nieve releases and the music never disappoints. plus, everything is pay-what-you-like on bandcamp.

milam records - here's one you might not be familiar with, but milam is definitely an up-and-comer in the black metal underground. not only did they release the tape version of mare cognitum's excellent "the sea which has become known" last year, they also have a fantastic soon-to-be-released split between ekadzati and bleakwood. definitely keep an eye on this one, I'm sure more great material is in the works.

tagobella - my friend at forever cursed turned me on to this label recently. they've released a wide variety of sounds, but their bands fanapth and doth have released some excellent, noisy black metal in the vein of early sutekh hexen. definitely check out fanapth's untitled 2012 demo, which is still available on cassette from the label's webstore.

broken limbs recordings - this is one whose recordings I knew but was unfamiliar with the label itself. and what better way to rectify that than with a quick look through their extensive bandcamp discography? featuring albums from yellow eyes, sun worship, vattnet viskar, and fhoi myore, this is a treasure-trove of excellent modern black metal and shoegaze. not everything is free, but it's all worthwhile.

band-specific black metal bandcamp roundup coming soon...

and, as always, feel free to mention some of your own favorites in the comments below.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

bandcamp roundup, part one - noise.

in my constant search for music that's more and more extreme, harsh noise and power electronics seem like very logical points of interest. unfortunately, because so much of this music is released on cassette in very limited quantities, I had never been able to sample as much of the genre as I had always wanted...but then bandcamp swooped in and made harsh, mind-melting, and, most importantly, hard-to-find noise available to the masses. so here, for your listening (dis)pleasure, are some of my favorite bandcamp noise discoveries.

herukrat - first posted on svn okklt about a month ago, this demo is awesome and deserves to heard. so far it's the only release available but I'm hopeful there will be others soon. harsh, bleak, and unforgiving.

chondritic sound - this los angeles-based label already got a shout-out in my previous post about darkwave, but they also have a fantastic selection of noise releases. definitely check out both redrot releases as well as the sole chainfight release.

gomeisa - this one was totally new to me. the brainchild of cole peters, he produces extended voids of harsh noise that envelope the listener in complete chaos. so far only gomeisa releases are up, but I assume there will be more in the future. my favorite so far is "blossoming flesh."

crucial blast - I'm sure most of you are very familiar with this label, but did you know they have a fantastic bandcamp? with releases from theologian, vomir, gnaw their tongues, wold, and more, this page is a one-stop-shop for noise, black, and avant-garde metal of the highest caliber. I've been listening to the demonologists/hhl split on repeat recently.

utech records - another new one (to me, at least), these albums feature not only excellent stirring, rhythmic noise but great cover art, too. my current favorite is delusion of hope - lots of soft, almost melodic ambience mixed with harsh electronics topped and off with an occasional live drum performance. lo pan is definitely worth a listen as well.

on a related note - if anyone at posh isolation, strange rules, worthless recordings, sick head, or hospital productions is listening: you need bandcamp pages. like, now.


help us out.

feel free to chime in with your own discoveries in the comments.

Friday, February 15, 2013

bodi of light - wayside city.

Bodi Of Light - Wayside City


59.19 MB

1. Inner City
2. Leaves Just Disappeared
3. Door
4. Wayside City
5. You Bleed Too

whatever you want to call it - darkwave, cold wave, minimal wave - there's no denying that it's the hot underground genre right now, with bands and dedicated labels popping up everywhere. before we jump into this release, here are few of the best elsewhere on the web.

sans issue has released both natural assembly's "torn from infinity" (which can be downloaded here) and the tape edition of "minus one" by the kvb - definitely two of my favorites.

chondritic sound put out pure ground's "daylight" cassette which can be streamed here, and the physical release itself will make a fantastic addition to any collection. avant! records has another natural assembly release, "arms of departure," as well as multiple releases from lust for youth, who have also put out tapes through posh isolation. last, but in no way least, is the inimitable nostilevo, who released the ritual howls tape, my girlfriend's current favorite, as well as the latest tollund men tape and the excellent "nothing ever changes" compilation.

all are putting out some of the best this genre has to offer.

this tape, by arizona's body of light (it's spelled with an "i" on the j-card, so that's how I've labeled the files), was released on ascetic house and it stands up with the aforementioned torn from infinity, ritual howls, and minus one as easily the best darkwave I've heard so far. the formula is pretty much the same as other, similar bands - dark synths, melancholy vocals, drum machines - but the songwriting and melodies elevate it to another level.

after a lengthy, ambient intro that builds by gradually layering synths and beats on top of each other, "leaves just disappeared" kicks in. this one grabbed me right from the get-go - gently swelling synths backed by a catchy melody and very ian curtis-esque vocals create the perfect soundtrack to a cloudy, dismal fall day. and that's just the first side...

as for purchasing this one, I haven't found many options. I got mine at mount analog in los angeles, but online options are hard to find. it might be available from chondritic sound here - but there's a banner at the top saying it's a "demo store" and orders won't be fulfilled, so proceed at your own risk.

for more on ascetic house, bookmark their (currently sparse) website and keep an eye out for future releases. I'm sure they'll be worth the price of admission.

(for preview purposes only.)

Thursday, February 14, 2013

various - port out, starboard home.

here's another rule-breaker, but like the svn okklt compilation, this one is too special and demands to be heard by anyone and everyone: port out, starboard home on posh isolation.

I've had my eye on this one for a long, long time, and it finally went up for sale right before my birthday, so it was kind of a gift to myself for making it through another year.

dedicated to the victims of human trafficking in northern europe, this double cassette compilation runs the gamut from ambient to drone to harsh noise. every track here is absolute gold and almost all are by posh isolation veterans - definitely heavy hitters in the noise and drone subgenres. and the sequencing is fantastic, lots of ups and downs make sure each track is fresh and unlike the one before it.

damien dubrovnik, puce mary, croatian amor, alleypisser, forza albino, and many more are all here in peak form so it should go without saying that this release is a must for any fan of extreme music. I'm sure many of you out there have already found this and fallen in love, but for those that haven't, here it is.

scott macaulay, my former boss at forensic films and current editor of filmmaker magazine, told me that listening to this music makes him feel like he, "should lie in a sewer and slit [his] wrists."

sounds like a resounding endorsement to me.

limited to only two hundred copies, this one has been sold out for a while now. but add it to your wantlist on discogs and wait...I'm sure one will show up for sale at some point. maybe.

check it out via the mediafire link below - you won't be disappointed.

(original post via noise nightfall.)

(for preview purposes only.)

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

from primer to upstream color: the divergent modern film industry.

upstream color, shane carruth's second feature, is finally hitting festivals and will soon be independently distributed by the director himself. and, presumably, some independent distribution companies.

in the nine years it's been since carruth's debut feature, primer, won the grand jury prize at sundance in 2004, the film industry seems to have split and become two divergent entities: the thoughtless, by-the-numbers, business-driven approach of hollywood, and the microbudget, independent, kickstarter-using scene of, well, everywhere else. the entire industry is changing more and faster than ever before.

while the democratization of the tools to create, produce, and distribute have (seemingly) leveled the playing field, the abundance of new material has created a new and even more hazardous minefield than ever before. it takes so much to stand out that filmmakers choose to forgo story and character in favor of visual "wow" factors like camera trickery, CGI, and plot twists, none of which serve to make a film better - only to catch the eye of our increasingly ADD-addled society.

but we're all guilty of seeking out style over substance, consciously or not. when film as a medium first started becoming widespread, it was that "wow" factor that brought audiences into theaters in droves. whether or not anyone actually jumped out of the way of that infamous train shot is irrelevant; people were captivated by those moving images. it's in our natures to seek out things that continue to wow us, that touch us in ways other things can't.

in many ways, the modern american film industry can be viewed as a microcosm of america as a whole.  the increasing gap between big-budget studio films and small, independent films likens itself to the ever-widening gap between the upper and lower classes. the collapse of the housing market is remarkably similar to the collapse of the star-studded romantic comedy - a genre/industry once relied upon by many at the top to generate untold wealth and ticket sales now finds itself hemorrhaging money (read this vulture article for more info and a case study). the desire, nay, yearning, to self-distribute bears a great similarity to the occupy wall street movement, with young filmmakers choosing to take their destinies into the own (usually far more capable and creative) hands.

as for answers, I don't have many. believe me, I wish I did, so that I could solve the problems my friends and I are having with not only getting our work funded, but seen by people who can actually make a difference and help the art spread. filmmakers are increasingly switching to the distribution model that so many small record labels (several featured on this blog) have resorted to: selling their own work directly to the consumer, crowd-sourcing the money to record, and, first and foremost, connecting with the fans and maintaining complete and utter transparency.

we've been heading toward a completely new film industry (and culture, for that matter) for more than a decade now and I'd like to believe that within the next decade the transition will be complete. from the digital revolution to the internet revolution, each piece builds upon the one below it and together they inch closer to a genuinely new and different entity than the one that's been in place since the rise of hollywood and the studio system.

all we can do as artists and filmmakers is adjust our approaches to better take advantage of the new tools at our disposal and adapt to the quickly- and constantly-changing landscape ahead of us.

Monday, February 11, 2013

khfiva - I.

Khfiva - I


29.61 MB

1. Untitled

this reprieve from the noisey drones and screams of damien dubrovnik comes courtesy of the fledgling male activity label.

I was turned onto this tape by my friend at black metal and brews who did a brief but informative profile on a few of male activity's releases that you can read here.

khfiva's debut release is a collection of very dreamy tones and soothing ambience that can serve as a great palate-cleanser between some of the harsher music we all know and love, or just as a perfect record to help you relax after a long day.

the physical release is an edition of thirty copies - white cassettes that have been hand-painted (or should I say, splattered) with royal blue, come housed in a standard case with a hand-numbered j-card.

male activity is very new and while they only have a few releases under their collective belt, they're already selling out quickly. grab a copy of this one here while they're still available and be sure to check out their other releases while you're at it...this is definitely a label to watch.

(for preview purposes only.)

Sunday, February 10, 2013

damien dubrovnik ‎– songs for loviatar.

Damien Dubrovnik - Songs For Loviatar


59.68 MB

1. Untitled
2. Untitled
3. Untitled

well, this one was certainly unexpected. and in the best way possible...

it's my birthday in two days, and my wonderful girlfriend's gift to me was a trip to my new favorite record store, mount analog, to pick up a couple of items. and what a great surprise I found...

sitting in a used records bin was this, songs for loviatar by damien dubrovnik, the first posh isolation release, in immaculate condition. the cover, the insert, the cards, and the record, all essentially flawless and priced at less than it sells for on discogs. and, since every other link on the internet seems to be dead, here it is.

how to describe this kind of straddles the line between posh isolation's black metal releases and their drone and noise releases. the vocals are full on black metal, but the music is (for the most part) very ambient, droning, and noisey. the third track does feature drums and ups the noise ante, bringing it all to a chaotic but satisfying close.

I honestly can't say enough great things about posh isolation. they are singlehandedly pushing the boundaries of noise, power electronics, and black metal to staggering new heights while maintaining a look and feel that always manages to tie everything back to a unified source. if you're familiar with them and their releases, you know exactly what I'm talking about. if you're not, this is a great place to start.

it may be difficult to buy something from the label directly, but do your best to support them and their artists however possible...although it's sparse for the time being, you should definitely follow damien dubrovnik on bandcamp - hopefully more will be going up in the near future.

these are exactly the types of labels and artists that both need and deserve all the support they can get.

(for preview purposes only.)

Monday, February 4, 2013

stillborn fawn - abature.

Stillborn Fawn - Abature


28.69 MB

1. Nord
2. Nacht Shatten
3. Abscheulich
4. Atem Ende

why are digital versions of many bleak environment releases so difficult to track down? some are readily available while others are non-existant, and it's incredibly frustrating.

that being said, and as a kind of follow-up to my vocivus post, here's another impossible-to-find bleak environment release: stillborn fawn's "abature."

this one is straight-up, full-speed-ahead black metal. with no ambience and no filler (save for two very short dialogue samples at the beginning of tracks one and three), stillborn fawn tear through four tracks in a little more than sixteen minutes - just long enough to satisfy while still leaving you wanting more.

throat-shredding vocals and head-nodding riffs weave together to create a caustic tapestry of anger and aggression. needless to say, if you're a fan of xothist, vocivus, or anything else on bleak environment, this one is a no-brainer.

unfortunately, it's no longer available from the label, but there is one copy for sale on discogs, and you can download the band's first release for free on their bandcamp page. check them out, you won't be disappointed.

(for preview purposes only.)