Sunday, April 28, 2013

sutekh hexen - empyräisch.

Sutekh Hexen - Empyräisch


58.29 MB

1. Murmur
2. Bled Thy Likeness
3. Order Of Nine
4. Have You Seen Your Mother, Baby, Standing In The Shadows?
5. Haunting
6. Haunted

what can I say about sutekh hexen that hasn't already been said? although they haven't blown up like some of the other bay area black metal-influenced bands (deafheaven, ash borer, etc.), they've released so much quality material in the last few years that it's just startling - larvae, luciform, behind the throne, becoming, several seven-inches - every single release has been both visually and aurally stellar.

originally released on vinyl, this tape, limited to 100 hand-numbered copies, collects hard-to-find tracks from previous releases and was produced as a reward for everyone who donated to sutekh hexen's kickstarter campaign to raise money for a tour last year. in addition to the previously announced rewards, this tape was thrown in as a special thank-you from kevin gan yuen himself.

thankfully (for the rest of you), kevin recently put the remaining copies of this tape up on the sutekh hexen webstore for purchase. the band also recently finished up a small northwestern united states tour with blsphm and congratulations to anyone and everyone who was able to see them live. my girlfriend and I had that distinct pleasure last year when they did an in-store performance at vacation vinyl, and it was certainly a sight to behold...

while the crowd started out small, the waves of harsh noise and screeching vocals drew in throngs of hipsters who had been passing by on the street, enticed by the controlled chaos emanating from the small record shop. although short, it was epic in sound and intimate in setting, making for a truly memorable performance.

if you get the chance to see sutekh hexen live, don't hesitate - I promise it'll be worth your time. and head over to their webstore to pick up not only this tape but a host of other merch, as well - there are tapes, cds, records, posters, shirts, and more for sale.

everything is top-notch in terms of sound and build quality, and your heard-earned money goes directly to the musicians themselves. what could be better?

(buy a copy from the band.)

(for preview purposes only.)

Friday, April 26, 2013

record store day, part two - silent servant / regis split.

Silent Servant / Regis - Split


22.9 MB

1. Silent Servant - Lust Abandon
2. Regis - The Holy Show

...and here we have the second record store day exclusive tape from mount analog, a split between silent servant and regis. the former recently released a full-length, "negative fascination," on hospital productions, of which mount analog distributed an exclusive version containing a switchblade, amongst other extras. the latter recently released an EP, "turin versions," on blackest ever black.

significantly shorter than the other tape, this one features just one track from each artist. but they're solid tracks, so who am I to argue.

both tracks are right in their creators' wheelhouses and together make for a very brief but highly enjoyable split. and in my eyes, that's exactly what a split should be - enough to get you interested but short enough to keep you wanting more.

as I mentioned in the previous post, this one is already sold out at the mount analog online shop. but who knows, maybe they have a copy or two floating around the retail location.

(for preview purposes only.)

record store day, part one - marshstepper / jock club split.

Marshstepper / Jock Club


59.43 MB

1. Marshstepper - In Pure Linen And Placed In A New Tomb
2. Jock Club - Ex-Fantasy
3. Jock Club - Unwilling Desire
4. Jock Club - Sector
5. Jock Club - Obsidian

by now, my infatuation with mount analog in los angeles should be no secret. not only is it just a mile from the apartment I share with my girlfriend, it also has the best selection of rare noise tapes and records of any store I've found on the west coast.

and when I found out that they were going to have two exclusive tapes limited to only one hundred copies each for sale on record store day, I made plans to hit it early. honestly, most record story day exclusives are lazy reissues that pander to the masses. there are definitely some cool ones mixed in but nothing seemed so essential that I'd want to brave the unwashed metalhead-masses of los angeles to get my hands on it.

so I headed to mount analog shortly after opening, where I swooped in, grabbed both tapes as soon as they were done being dubbed in the back of the store, made my purchase, and got out.

this is the first one - a split between marshstepper and jock club, two artists who are affiliated with ascetic house, a label I've featured before. the marshstepper side is one fifteen minute-long track that covers a huge stylistic range. I wasn't familiar with jock club at all, but their side is filled with ambient techno reminiscent of dominick fernow's work as vatican shadow.

strangely enough, this tape is still in stock at the mount analog store. if you like what you hear (and why wouldn't you?), grab one quickly - I'm sure the remaining stock will disappear very soon.

while you're at it, check out all of the other great releases mount analog has in stock. and if you live in the los angeles area and haven't already been, stop by mount analog asap. you won't regret it.

(for preview purposes only.)

Thursday, April 25, 2013

maesus - call of the black plague.

Maesus - Call Of The Black Plague


26.41 MB

1. Scorching Smell Of Human Torches
2. Call Of The Black Plague
3. From Beyond The Tomb
4. Torture And Misery

here we have the debut demo from portugal's maesus, "call of the black plague," released earlier this year via skull productions. I decided to take a chance on this after listening to a sample on the fallen empire webstore and it doesn't disappoint.

this is probably the most old-school leaning black metal release I've posted - buzzsaw guitars; shrieking, raspy vocals; blastbeats that sound like they're being played on a tin can - it's all here, it's all ferocious, and it's all excellent.

I don't have much to say about this one. maesus blast through these four tracks in about thirteen and a half minutes. there are no ambient interludes, no drawn-out orchestral arrangements, nothing at all to distract from the full-frontal assault of the music.

my only complaint would have to be the mix - the guitars can be a little overwhelming at times and tend to drown out all of the other sounds. but isn't dealing with poor mixes part of the fun of listening to lo-fi black metal demos? of course it is.

skull productions has released some excellent material by great acts like ostots and white medal, so don't be afraid to take a chance on some other artists you may not have heard of - and since fallen empire has a solid selection to choose from, those of us in america won't have to break the bank on shipping.

(buy a copy from fallen empire.)

(for preview purposes only.)

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

âmes sanglantes - have you come here to torment us before the time?

Âmes Sanglantes - Have You Come Here To Torment Us Before The Time?


35.01 MB

1. A Treasure...
2. The Holy One Of God
3. A Gift...
4.  The Existence Of Hell

funny story about this one - the first copy I bought (at mount analog, of course) had nothing on side a. side b was fine, but side a was completely blank. I've obviously bought quite a few tapes in my day, but never have I gotten one that was missing a side. thankfully, mount analog let me exchange it for another copy, and that's what we have here.

released on robert & leopold (run by ryan martin of york factory complaint) in august of 2012, this tape definitely stands up with every other âmes sanglantes release that I've heard - it's got that wall of noise with just enough of the melody and rhythm we all know and love.

copies are available both on discogs and from the label itself (it's on the main page, just scroll down a little and you'll find it). they also have a ton of other experimental and noise releases for sale, so go ahead and take a chance. they've already released material by aaron dilloway, kama rupa, and black leather jesus, so it should be obvious that this well-curated label will only get better as it continues to grow.

(for preview purposes only.)

Monday, April 22, 2013

dolorvotre - dolorvotre.

Dolorvotre - Dolorvotre


75.91 MB

1. Intro
2. Brilliant Brightness
3. DMT
4. Worship Black Twilight
5. Interlude
6. Treasure Of Sin
7. Carrion Of Immortality
8. LSD
9. Outro

at first glance, this post breaks the primary self-imposed rule in my so-called book - it's readily available all over the internet, so it's in no way unique.

or so you might think.

but this is a rip of the dismal cursings pro-tape press from 2012 and it sounds, compared to the other rip circulating, like a completely different album.

crepusculo negro isn't known for their recording (nor dubbing) quality, and their original version of this tape is mixed so poorly and covered in such thick static that it's barely listenable.

then dismal cursings came along and released their own version for europe featuring "improved" sound and it really is a substantial improvement. obviously, this basement recording hasn't been transformed into some over-polished studio garbage, but it certainly sounds a hell of a lot better than before. more importantly, it's a hell of a lot more pleasant to listen to and thus much more enjoyable.

while I certainly don't think this album was crepusculo negro's highpoint - that honor belongs to either arizmenda tape and/or the ashdautas split with bone awl - it's arguably their most important and well-known, which makes it an essential listen. and it's never sounded better.

on a side note, I certainly do NOT condone crepusculo negro's actions with regard to their mailorder policies and personal lives, and if those two things are enough to turn you off the label, well, I don't blame you. but this is, nevertheless, an important album in the modern USBM scene, so everyone should at least have the option to check it out.

I believe this version is still available straight from the label, but they're in belgium so shipping might break the bank for anyone in the US. they also have copies their version of the second arizmenda tape that also features "improved" sound, and I think I read somewhere that they have cassette versions of the first three portal albums in the works, as well as elysian blaze's "blood geometry," so definitely keep an eye out for those in the (near?) future.

there are also two copies for sale on discogs, so do your best to pick this one up in its most listenable form.

UPDATE: mike from fallen empire has informed me that he's got copies of this one in stock. so now you really have no excuse not to pick it up.

(buy a copy from fallen empire.)

(for preview purposes only.)

Saturday, April 20, 2013

various artists - svenska dokument.

Various Artists - Svenska Dokument


163.4 MB

1. Enklav - Frontlinjer
2. Hängd - Slagen I Spillror
3. I det röda - Skadeskjuten
4. I det röda - Grå Zon
5. I det röda - Afrika
6. I det röda - Sänkt
7. Iron Pillar - Lord Himself Obliterates
8. Krökta rum - Ett Flyende Landskap
9. Orquere - Molded Reality

it's fitting that my first rip using my new cassette deck would also be my first järtecknet release. what a great one it is, and it's made even better thanks to the drastic increase in sound quality that my new deck has provided.

released in late 2012, this triple cassette compilation collects some of the best noise, power electronics and ambient acts that sweden has to offer. there's something for everyone here - tape manipulation, musique concrète, industrial noise, "no-fi" noise-rock, ambient field recordings, and harsh power electronics are all here in top-notch form. in fact, this probably would've made an appearance on my best-of list for 2012 had I heard it earlier.

even if you're not familiar with any of these acts, the fact that järtecknet is the sister label of posh isolation should be a great indicator of the stellar quality within. none of the tracks disappoint and I highly recommend this to all noise fans.

the three tapes come in a slim, hard plastic case with a small numbered booklet containing artist names, track titles, and artwork. it's all very minimalistic and quite elegant, and fits the music perfectly - a stunning package for a stunning collection of sound.

right now there's one copy for sale on discogs and one copy left at wax deli distro, where I got mine. limited to just ninety-one copies, I'm pretty sure it's sold out everywhere else, but feel free to look around - it's definitely worth picking up, and I give it my highest possible recommendation.

(for preview purposes only.)

Thursday, April 18, 2013

âmes sanglantes - l'existence des existences.

Âmes Sanglantes - L'Existence Des Existence


32.3 MB

1. La Manifestation
2. L'Ectoplasme

for those of you in the mood for something more caustic, here's a short ep from one of my favorite power electronics projects, pierre-marc tremblay's âmes sanglantes.

as I've discussed in previous posts, tremblay is a powerhouse, running multiple labels - tour de garde, sans issue - as well as a diverse array of musical projects - akitsa, contrepoison, and this one.

this tape has everything we know and love about âmes sanglantes - harsh drones and wild, flailing electronics that form a tight, cohesive whole in a way that few other noise artists can match. released in 2011 by NSN, this may be short but it's nonetheless a great listen. the first track has hints of melody while the second has hints of rhythm, two things which tremblay excels at integrating into such harsh music, and one of the reasons he stands out from the rest of the noise crowd.

copies of the cassette are available on discogs and a legitimate digital version is available on itunes, amongst others.

and inside the j-card is a quote: "contre le monde moderne, contre le système qui carbure á la consommation et les réalités scientifiques contemporaines. laissons place aux manifestations surnaturelles donnons-nous le droit de rêver..." which roughly translates to "against the modern world, against the system fueled consumption and contemporary scientific realities. leave room for the supernatural events give us the right to dream..."

just something to keep in mind while listening...

(for preview purposes only.)

rainforest spiritual enslavement - black magic cannot cross water.

Rainforest Spiritual Enslavement - Black Magic Cannot Cross Water


54.09 MB

1. Homes Built Over The Sea
2. Refuges From Black Magic

here's one from dominick fernow's more ambient rainforest-themed electronic project, the appropriately-named rainforest spiritual enslavement. originally released on cassette last year, it's now being issued on vinyl and I urge you all to pick it up.

it's all very ambient, with subtle electronics over nature sounds - rain falling on trees, insects, leaves rustling, etc. it's certainly not the most stirring (read: violent) of fernow's work, but it makes great background music for whatever you may be doing.

the new vinyl version had been available for american buyers via experimedia but it's now sold out. I believe the always-wonderful mount analog in los angeles may have a couple copies, and it's also available from alter, a UK distributor...but that obviously means shipping charges will be obscene for those of us in the US. you can also purchase a legitimate digital version via amazon and itunes...and it's a few dollars cheaper at the latter.

(buy a copy on vinyl from alter.)

(for preview purposes only.)

Sunday, April 14, 2013

upstream color - a review.

my expectations for upstream color were high - I hadn't been looking forward to a film this much in many, many years. I saw primer right at the start of my second year at tisch and it energized me in a way that few modern films could - here was a first time director whose minuscule budget didn't hold him back but instead made him thrive. shane carruth crafted a complex, fascinating narrative that (whether or not it actually makes sense in the end) that felt limitless in scope, despite the very real limitations imposed by the production itself. not only that, he also did everything - he wrote, shot it, starred in it, directed it, and edited it. it's a film that I can still turn to for inspiration whenever I need to.

enough small talk - this film completely destroyed my expectations in every way imaginable. as carruth himself has said, the film is about the life cycle of a biological organism - in this case, a fictional type of worm. throughout the film we follow that worm, and the path of destruction in its wake, as it grows, matures, and spawns new life. but it's also about the flawed cycle of mankind - we are born, we go through life, destroy ourselves, spawn, and it starts all over again. until, that is, we take it upon ourselves to root out that flaw, expose it, and endeavor to change it.

we open on an unnamed man ("the thief") who buys a blue orchid and then harvests several small worms from the roots and flowers of the plant. he then uses these to drug a woman, putting her under his complete control. he drains her bank account, her home equity, even the gold coins she has stashed under her house over an unspecified period of time, which could be weeks or even months. she's then handed off to another unnamed man ("the sampler"), who extracts the now fully-grown worms from her body and deposits them into a heathy pig. after the process, she wakes up in her car on the side of the freeway, unaware of how she got there. her life has been destroyed - no money, no job, nothing.

and then she meets carruth's character, a man who has also lost everything. we don't know if it's also because of the worm but due to some of the wounds on his body, that's a fairly safe bet. together they have enough left to survive, but that's about it. when the worm is removed, something else much less tangible gets removed along with it - some might say "soul," but I don't want to be that specific - some sort of essence, or happiness, gets ripped out.

eventually the pair track down the man who removed the worm to discover that he is also the reason for its propagation. but they refuse to let the cycle continue, stopping it dead before another life can be consumed and also, in the process, changing the course of not only their lives, but all of the others than have been affected by the parasite.

while time is still cyclical, this seems like quite a change from the central theme of primer - that cycles are fixed, and no matter what we try to do, no matter how much foresight we may be able to gain, nothing can change that fact. but primer focused on the micro - the personal. and as we've already discussed, upstream color focuses on the macro - the different generations of a species. terrible things are always going to happen to anyone and everyone, but if we fight really hard - fight as if we have nothing to lose - we can provide a better future for those we care about.

technically, this film is an achievement of the highest level. the structure, the editing, the camera work, the shot choice and composition - it's all absolutely stunning. there isn't a single throwaway shot in the entire ninety minute-plus runtime. so even if you find the story ludicrous and the acting forgettable, at least know that you're witnessing one of the most visually spectacular films in years. there are no epic CGI battle scenes, no high-speed car chases, no visits to alien worlds. everything here is natural, real, tangible. and it's a genuine visual work of art.

and to everyone who reads this blog exclusively for the music - "the sampler," as he is known (and can be seen in one of the above stills), makes and releases music via his own record label, consisting of piano loops, field recordings, and ambient sound - genuine musique concrète. it's both interesting to watch and well-integrated into the plot, and definitely added to my enjoyment of the film on a personal level.

all in all, this is certainly not a film for everyone, but if you're a frequent reader of this blog, I urge you to go see it - I'm sure you'll leave with something positive.

upstream color is in limited release all over the country in major markets - los angeles, new york, boston, chicago, etc. - and will be opening in many more over the coming weeks. see it and help support the most essential kind of cinema being made today - that which is incredibly minimal, stunningly experimental, and, most of all, deeply rewarding.

(release dates, cities, and theaters for upstream color.)

(stream the soundtrack on soundcloud.)

Friday, April 12, 2013

ruin lust - demo 2011

Ruin Lust - Demo 2011


39.42 MB

1. Untitled
2. Untitled
3. Untitled
4. Untitled
5. Untitled

with the new fell voices album, regnum saturni, being recently released (and quite good), I figured I'd post this 2011 demo by ruin lust, one of the drummer's side projects. many of you probably have it already but since all the current links seem to be dead, anyone late to the party is in luck.

this really doesn't bear a whole lot of sonic similarity to fell voices but it's still a nice almost twenty minutes of blackened death metal - the music is a little bass-heavy but fast paced and decidedly black, while the vocals definitely lean more toward the death end of the spectrum.

according the psychic violence webstore, an lp will be released as soon as the everyone returns from ash borer's european tour - whether it'll be this demo expanded and remastered or something entirely new, well, I don't know, but I'm hoping for the latter - regardless, it'll be worth checking out.

since it all sounds so clean (and the tracks are untitled), I'm pretty sure this version is ripped from the original cdr release, but I've included the cassette artwork simply because it's much, much better, and actually makes me want to listen to the album instead of ignore it.

while you're familiarizing yourselves with fell voices side projects, also be sure to check out sleepwalker as well as the new ash borer ep, "bloodlands" - listen to the first track on bandcamp and then preorder at gilead media.

also, this is my fiftieth post. here's to fifty more.

(more info on fell voices.)

(for preview purposes only.)

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

bolder than buzzing bugs.

since I've given you all so much free music, now it's your turn to give back.

my girlfriend just launched a kickstarter campaign to raise money for her first feature film, "bolder than buzzing bugs," that she will write, direct and star in, and I will be co-producing and acting as the director of photography. and it features lots of droning, ambient, and at times noisy, music that she composed herself.

the film will tell the story of a pair of twins, luke and violet, both of whom are gay, and how they deal with the death of their mother - a woman for whom their feelings are very conflicted, to say the least.

for the kickstarter, instead of the standard "here's why you should give me money" video, we created an epilogue to the film designed to not only give everyone a taste of what it will look and feel like, but also to get people interested in the story itself (and that's where all of these stills come from). although the characters themselves may fall into a particular niche, so much of the story is easily relatable - family conflict, questions of personal identity, high school struggles, relationship problems - that anyone should be able to find something that echoes their own life situations.

my writing partner, jacob reynolds, who starred in harmony korine's "gummo" in 1997, is on board as a producer. the film will be shot in new york city and the hudson valley area later this year. the money will go toward transportation fees, camera rentals, location fees, food costs, and whatever other situations arise - and as anyone who's worked on a small, independent film will know, you never know what misfortunes may occur. 

 and besides, how can you say no to that face?

for more of my own camera work, check out my previous posts on experimental film and my award-nominated short, two years.

all of the applicable links are below. anything you can give will be much appreciated by both of us, and everyone else who gets involved.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

cremation lily - uncomplicated explanations.

as with my last cremation lily post, there's no link for this one. why? because I'm trying to respect zen zsigo's wishes that his music not be shared. trust me, I'd love to share every cremation lily release that I own because they're all amazing, and if the man himself were to read this and give me permission to share his work, what a glorious day that would be. but it's unlikely.

moving we have a double c12 cassette release from zsigo's cremation lily project on his strange rules label. zsigo is quickly becoming the UK's answer to dominick fernow - he has a wide array of musical projects spanning multiple genres - hardcore, ambient, power electronics, and darkwave, to name a few -  as well as a label dedicated to noise and power electronics releases on small cassette runs with handcrafted artwork.

after numerous delays, this release is finally upon us and it doesn't disappoint. it's not as lengthy or as wild as "it's ok to say no," but it has a mood and atmosphere all it's own. the tracks - "my mother," "my father," "my brother," and "my sister," all have a distinct sound and sense of identity that I'm sure bear some personal meaning to zsigo himself.

sonically, these track all have an almost industrial edge to them - I can almost see the cacophonies of rumbling machinery in the background. "my mother" begins with rising and falling electronics under a layer of noise, backed by the aforementioned rumbling. heavily distorted, muffled vocals create another sonic layer while a droning guitar (?) provides a barely-there rhythm. "my father" begins with some almost melodic synth drones before layers of feedback and static emerge at the forefront. but those warm synth lines are never lost, always lurking in the distance and sometimes peeking through the chaos. zsigo's shouts sound almost like desperate pleas for help that barely emerge from the landscape of noise.

"my brother" begins with a blasting wall of noise and feedback and features more muffled vocals from zsigo still buried in the mix. and eventually the warm synths return, lending the track a strange feeling of comfort. "my sister" is probably the most rhythmic track on the album, featuring what I'd guess is hand-percussion that's been distorted beyond recognition and looped throughout the whole track. the vocals here are more clear and up-front than in any of the previous tracks but that certainly doesn't render them any more discernible.

there's something unique about the whole sound of this recording, and I think that can be attributed to everything being recorded directly to tape, with no digital intermediary anywhere in the process. the whole recording sounds old and dirty and decayed, which adds to the unsettling atmosphere, while the background of warm synths and the personal nature of the song titles takes it all in a different direction, one that a lot of people will probably find contradictory.

I could hypothesize that it all has something to do with the complex way zen zsigo might feel about his own family or families in general, but I don't know the man and any conclusions would be erroneous and premature, to say the least. nevertheless, it all comes together to form a fascinating and cohesive package from one of the most fascinating and versatile artists in the underground today.

(sign up for the strange rules mailing list.)

(follow strange rules on tumblr.)

(visit the strange rules store for digital versions of select releases.)

Friday, April 5, 2013

stillbirth - toward sailor.

Stillbirth - Toward Sailor


57.64 MB

1. Serotonin (Placing The Son By The Sea)
2. Melotonin (At Rest. In Bed. On Deck.)

here's another one from hospital productions, that also happens to be another find from mount analog. I had been wanting to check this album out for quite a while, so when I saw this record barely used and selling for a very affordable price, I jumped.

my only prior experience with stillbirth was via white eye of winter watching. their track on that compilation was very noisy and synth-based, so I was definitely not prepared for what was contained within "toward sailor." these two tracks, one on each side of this lp, definitely fall into a much more ambient category.

lots of warm, almost inviting synths open both tracks, slowly twisting and turning, building and receding, until finally turning into cacophonies of noise by the last couple minutes. certainly not what I was expecting, but a very pleasing listen nonetheless - and definitely one of the more soothing, dare I say melodic, hospital releases I've ever heard. I'd almost liken it to a slightly more noisy lussuria.

legitimate digital versions are available on itunes and amazon, as is the case with a good number of hospital's amazing releases. there are also quite a few copies of the lp available on discogs, so you really have no excuse not to pick this one up.

(for preview purposes only.)

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

various artists - around the dragon's broken neck hangs the medal of saint lazarus.

Various Artists - Around The Dragon's Broken Neck Hangs The Medal Of Saint Lazarus


134.1 MB

1. Alberich - Gold
2. Alberich - Virgins
3. Bus De La Lum - Luce Degli Animali
4. Contrepoison - I Keep On Searching
5. Contrepoison - Poisonous Desires
6. Contrepoison - In Love With Mars, At War With Love
7. FFH - Against Ghettos Fragrant Gardens
8. Kama Rupa - The Triple Tide
9. Lussuria - Fox With The Eyes And Ears Burned Out
10. Prurient - Tormented With Fire
11. Vatican Shadow - The Triumph Of Religion
12. Vatican Shadow - Conspiratorial Whispers

ah, the things I go through to get music for free. this was not an easy one to obtain and it involved the use of many audio-manipulating programs. I didn't do any of this because I'm cheap...I did it to prove that I could.

so here it is, a fantastic hospital productions compilation from late 2010, "around the dragon's broken neck hangs the medal of saint lazarus." what a mouthful. nevertheless, one look at the tracklist should let you know how great this is - alberich, contrepoison, FFH, lussuria, prurient, vatican shadow - you can't go wrong with a lineup like that.

I'm not even going to bother describing any of the tracks - just download it and hear for yourselves. legitimate digital versions are available on itunes and amazon, and there's one copy for sale as of this writing on discogs, but it's going for a pretty penny.

sample here and then decide if it's worth it...oh, who am I kidding, of course it is.

(for preview purposes only.)