Saturday, January 24, 2009

Cabin Fever Broke

Quick break between a nice, long brunch with the Michigan crew, before switching gears and heading into the studio with Locrian this evening...

Totally fun night, last night, at the show. The Mopery is the best! Yep, it was embarrassingly my first time there. Major necessity in Chicago. Perfect setting for Dead Machines, The Haunting, Folk & Violence, Bruce Lamont, and Face Worker. Such a great crowd, like a collective cabin fever from this brutal winter simultaneously broke. This was the show that this city needed this weekend! So nice to see lots and lots of friends after a long holiday break...

Great synth from Brett, to start things off. The Wierd Records effect, maybe, sinking further into Chicago's psyche. Sounded excellent!

Bruce had a brief electro-glitch a ways into his set but he recovered and played a transformative piece that continued the theme of mind travel for the whole night.

Of the few F&V sets I have seen, this one towered above... so far above... From free rock to psychedelia to Krautrock passages, it was another set that allowed for escape. New guitarist was a perfect match. Tops!

My first actual live set by The Haunting. Dark electronics mixed with ultra-odd acoustic sounds drawn from Tara's mysterious cans! Insane. Haunting, indeed. Horror soundtracks for dark abandoned factory spaces. And weird cellphone static that oddly fit in the mix. Crazy new Chicago (world?) phenomenon... Happened at Locrian broadcast on Sunday, too.

And finally, another top-notch Dead Machines set. Never too heavy or out of control (same could be said for the whole night) -- just a precise balance of volume, mood, tone, weirdness, shifting sounds... Always a favorite to see/hear live.

Late night limoncello session... stinkbomb discussion. War stories, etc.

And to top it all off, a beautiful piece of Olson art to get up on the walls!

BloodLust! Interview Series: #4 Mammal

Mammal - Gary Beauvais (also of Animal Disguise Recordings)

1. What have you been listening to lately?

Amon Düül II 'Made In Germany' & 'Hijack'
T. Rex 'Bolan's Zip Gun'

2. Have you been to any interesting concerts recently?

Saw Gay Beast in Seattle a few weeks ago, but I'm still new to the area and haven't really been paying attention.

3. Can you name a favorite film, or two (or a television program), from
the last few months?

'The House with Laughing Windows' (Pupi Avati)
'Mes nuits avec...' (Claude Mulot)
'Blastfighter' (Lamberto Bava)
'Gran Torino' (Clint Eastwood)

4. Have you read a good book lately?

'My Incredible Life as the Hulk' by Lou Ferrigno

5. Have you attended any recent art shows worth mentioning?

The Tacoma Museum of Glass looks cool from the outside. Someday...

6. Do you have any current obsessions of note?

Not sure.

7. Please tell me what recordings, projects (any medium), etc., you are
working on right now, if anything

Working on the next Mammal LP (due for a Summer '09 release), as well as a new book of drawings.

8. What do you hope to accomplish this year?

Maybe play some shows outside of the U.S.

9. Is there anything else that you would like to mention, announce, or hype?

I have a new tape, DISTANT DAYS, out on IDES Recordings:

Friday, January 23, 2009

BloodLust! Interview Series: #3 Dead Body Love

Dead Body Love - Gabriele Giuliani (also of Discordance, Drift, and the former Less Than Zero label; most recently recording as Oleoresin Capsicum)

1. What have you been listening to lately?

Incapacitants 10-cd Box Is Stupid!
Also a lot of The Flying Luttenbachers,
Borbetomagus, Ornette Coleman,
Anthony Braxton,
Mr.Bungle, Merzbow, Sunn O))) and early Carcass
Napalm Death.

2. Have you been to any interesting concerts recently?

No, but I'll catch the Gutter Twins (Mark Lanegan and Greg Dulli) next
week here in Florence for a quiet and relaxing evening.

3. Can you name a favorite film, or two (or a television program),
from the last few months?

Absolutely The Dark Knight and Wall-E, two must-have blu-ray discs!
Wall-E is pure eye-candy and it is technically unbelievable. I wonder
what Pixar will do in their next movies...

4. Have you read a good book lately?

Too busy playing Left 4 Dead and Gears of War 2 :)
Never been a good reader anyway!

5. Have you attended any recent art shows worth mentioning?


6. Do you have any current obsessions of note?

Mexican food. Slayer. Zombie movies. Collecting designer toys. Jayd Lovely!

7. Please tell me what recordings, projects (any medium), etc., you
are working on right now, if anything

A new Oleoresin Capsicum or Dead Body Love cd-r on Japanese label
Xerxes. Also working on a new Discordance LP.

8. What do you hope to accomplish this year?

Recording a lot of noise! Playing more videogames! Succesfully
predicting the 2009 Royal Rumble winner (Randy Orton)!

9. Is there anything else that you would like to mention, announce, or hype?

Thank you Mark and keep up the great work!

Tension / Attention

Listening to Khanate's recent "Clean Hands Go Foul" today, which has a nice tension to it. I have been trying to listen to various KTL recordings but they just do not really hold my attention for some reason

Lots of interview series responses have been flowing in. People have been great about answering the questions right away. I think they will offer a nice little snapshot of what folks are up to/thinking about lately... Much more to come...

Thursday, January 22, 2009

BloodLust! Interview Series: #2 Sleep Museum

Sleep Museum - Robert Anthony

1. What have you been listening to lately?

Dead Can Dance - "Dead Can Dance"
Bonnie 'Prince' Billie - "Master And Everyone"
Clan of Xymox - "Subsequent Pleasures"
Of The Wand And The Moon - "Emptiness Emptiness Emptiness"
John Adams - "Doctor Atomic"
Front 242 - "Backcatalogue"
Tallis Scholars - "Tallis Scholars Sing Josquin"

2. Have you been to any interesting concerts recently?

Xeno & Oaklander, Martial Canterel

3. Can you name a favorite film, or two (or a television program), from the last few months?

"Synecdoche, New York", "Naked" (Mike Leigh), TV: "Flight of the Conchords".

4. Have you read a good book lately?

"Simulacra and Simulation", Baudrillard.

5. Have you attended any recent art shows worth mentioning?

Marlene Dumas, New York MOMA

6. Do you have any current obsessions of note?

Philosophy, music, poetry, yoga, Asia. Domus.

7. Please tell me what recordings, projects (any medium), etc., you are working on right now, if anything

Working on new recordings for new release(s). Compiling music for re-release. Starting video project(s).

8. What do you hope to accomplish this year?

Live life to its fullest, as if this year were the last. Music: release two or three releases, soundtracks, delve deeper into experimental and textual pieces. Interested in long and ultra-long form pieces. Atonality and disruption as seminal starting point. Disruptive textures. Collaborations. Explore harder and harsher formal/dance pieces. Art: video, painting, writing. Narrative pieces combining elements of the above. Personal: domus & connection. Keen to travel abroad -- see something new. Prosperity in the deluge.

9. Is there anything else that you would like to mention, announce, or hype?

(left blank)

Live Tomorrow

Related to recent BloodLust! artist Failing Lights and upcoming artist Bruce Lamont:

Friday January 23, 2009
9:00 PM

Dead Machines (Tovah Olson [ex-WWVV] + John Olson of Wolf Eyes, Graveyards, etc.)
The Haunting (Tara Connelly + Mike Connelly of Wolf Eyes, Hair Police, Failing Lights)
Bruce Lamont (Yakuza, Bloodiest)
Folk & Violence
Face Worker (Brett from Druids of Huge on synth)

The Mopery
2734 N. Milwaukee Ave.
Chicago, IL 60647


After working my way through the complete album catalogs of both Shining and Lifelover over the past two days, which has left me scratching my head, a bit, I have come back down with the two Ulaan Khol CDs ("I" and "II"), which I have no doubt will fall into a regular late-night repertoire, and which should probably make their way onto the BlackBerry for late-night subway listening, too.

BLOODYMINDED Exoteric Interview

While we are on the subject of interviews, Aldo from Exoteric/Nil By Mouth was kind enough to allow me to post this print-only interview that he conducted with me last year. It was published in Exoteric #4, in July 2008


Intrinsic Action formerly. BLOODYMINDED afterword. What are the most important differences between your main creatures?

The point of ending Intrinsic Action and starting BLOODYMINDED was to put to rest the old group after 11 years (1984-1995) of activity – to get rid of any unwanted baggage that I was dragging along – and to move onto something even more extreme, sonically, if possible. But true to form with how I tend to operate, it just so happened that the last three members of Intrinsic Action (Megan Emish, Angel Ramos, and myself) were also the first three members of BLOODYMINDED.

Is there a sort of parallel evolution also with your record activity, which led you from AWB to Bloodlust’s creation?

Without citing the entire history of AWB Recording, I had absolutely no interest in continuing with – or being associated with – the political side of that label. It was no reflection of me - of my interests or my personality – or of whom I was as a person. The idea of a clean break certainly presented itself at about the same time as with the bands, even if a bright light bulb did not pop up over my head in the most obvious way.

Among the many projects produced by AWB and Bloodlust there are Mauthausen Orchestra, Iugula-Thor and Sigillum S. Three Italian projects belonging to the old guard. What relationship do you have with the old Italian scene? Do you think that there are still noteworthy projects nowadays?

I was listening to M.B. at a pretty early point and I became increasingly interested in Mauthausen Orchestra. I began writing to, and ordering cassettes from, Aquilifer Sodality (Andrea Cernotto - later of The Sodality – at that point) in the early- to mid-1980s. My old girlfriend (and band mate in Intrinsic Action), Pamela Lynch, and I, had an opportunity to spend a summer in Venice, Italy, in 1987. While we were in Italy, we took the train to Milan, to meet Andrea. He brought along Paolo Bandera from Sigillum S, and the rest is history. I released a Sigillum S 7-inch in 1990, and I am now releasing a CD EP that collects the Sigillum S output on AWB Recording, in honour of their upcoming Chicago show (June 7, 2008). Over the years, our friendships developed, I met more of the Milan crowd, and there have been several return trips to Milan – while I have also had the pleasure of hosting several of the Milanese in Brooklyn and in Chicago. I did not meet Andrea Chiaravalli (Iugula-Thor) until the mid-1990s, while I was in New York, but we made up for lost time and we quickly recorded our collaboration (“Ensemble Sacres Garcons”). Paolo’s Sshe Retina Stimulants solo project has been an integral part of the fabric of BloodLust!, while Pierpaolo Zoppo, as Mauthausen Orchestra and M.O., has had an increasing number of releases on the label in the last 10 years.

After the busy mid-1990s rise of newer Italian p.e. and noise artists, like Atrax Morgue (R.I.P. Marco!), Murder Corp., Dead Body Love/Discordance, Progetto Morte, etc., it seemed to get a bit more quiet there by the 2000s. At least, I had very little contact with the scene, except maybe a bit of correspondence with Marco Deplano of Wertham (oh, and you). More recently, I have been in contact with Nicola Vinciguerra from the Turgid Animal label, and last November, BLOODYMINDED had four U.K. dates with Nicola, who was performing as Fecalove. In fact, Fecalove gives me great hope (and even some despair) for the future of Italian noise! Also, Gabriele Giuliani of D.B.L. has recently been back in contact, and it seems, back in action.

And what about the American scene? I think that it’s currently very dynamic and rich in interesting projects. What do you think?

The scene here in the USA is so much stronger than it ever was. When Intrinsic Action was ending and BLOODYMINDED was starting, there was Jonathan Canady transitioning from his industrial metal band, Dead World, into his power-electronics band, Deathpile. Taint was a long-term p.e. guy. Greg Scott from Final Solution was working under the name Hydra. Death Squad was going strong. Mid-1990s noise was really growing here: Macronympha, Strict, Skin Crime, Black Leather Jesus, etc. And in the period of our transition was the genesis of Slogun.

Now, I think that there are multiple scenes that overlap and that interact with each other. The new noise scene that developed here on the late-1990s and early-2000s, led, no doubt, by Wolf Eyes, has been instrumental in revitalizing BLOODYMINDED and BloodLust! The people in the Detroit scene, in particular, embraced what we were doing, and really helped to breath life back into us, during a semi-quiet period. This would be the greater Wolf Eyes/Detroit family – also including Aaron Dilloway (now in Oberlin, Ohio) – Hair Police (Lexington, Kentucky) – Greh Holger (Hive Mind, Cleanse, Chondritic Sound, etc.), Gary Beauvais (Mammal, Animal Disguise Recordings), Charlie Draheim, Ryan Oppermann (Redrot, etc.).

At the same time, on the East Coast – in Providence, Rhode Island, in particular – we were becoming friends with Prurient – Dominick Fernow also strongly supported our work – along with Peter Lee of Force of Nature (and the project Bereft) – and other Providence/Boston groups/projects such as Immaculate:Grotesque, Karlheinz, White Mice, Dropdead, etc.

Now?!? Jesus, I could fill a page about the American scene... but for this zine, of note, is the explosion of power-electronics. The guys in Twodeadsluts Onegoodfuck just hosted a festival in Boston, in March 2008, which we played, and which showcased the new American p.e. scene pretty nicely. Besides the mighty TDS OGF, there is Sharpwaist, Cathode Terror Secretion, Halflings, FFH, Shallow Waters...just to name a few. Add in another BloodLust! Family member, Climax Denial, from Milwaukee. I have also enjoyed p.e. releases from Pleasure Fluids and from Liver Mortis. New Pledgemaster from outside of Detroit is on the rise. A recent discovery is Rape-X, who are from near Philadelphia, PA.

And just naming just a few other USA artists that I enjoy playing, touring with, or listening to: Envenomist/Luasa Raelon, C. Spencer Yeh/Burning Star Core, Mouthus, Religious Knives, Emeralds, Tusco Teror, David Russell, Cadaver in Drag, Raccoo-oo-oon, Sickness, 16 Bitch Pile-Up, Sword Heaven, Carlos Giffoni, Wilt, Demons, Graveyards, Lambsbread, Silvum, etc. Also, naming only Chicago noise/exprimental artists could take a while... Blake Edwards/Vertonen, Jason Soliday (I also play with Blake and Jason in Animal Law:, Locrian, Druids of Huge, Kevin Drumm, Winters in Osaka, Shattered Hymen, Plastic Boner Band, Pisspisspiss Moanmoanmoan, Death Factory, Number None, Neil Jendon/Abduction, Bruce Lamont, Oakeater, etc., etc...

(With apologies to people that I am undoubtedly forgetting!)

Let’s talk about BLOODYMINDED once again. A direct question comes suddenly to me: you often avail yourself of a female collaboration (with Intrinsic Action, too): Pamela Lynch, Megan Emish, Nicole. Why did you choose to collaborate with a category, which doesn’t often take part in the noise scene? Do you think that women can give a considerable contribution to the power-electronics scene?

Why did I choose? Why wouldn’t I choose to do so? While there are certainly less women in the noise scene, and particularly in p.e., my best times in bands are with people who I enjoy spending time with. So it would make sense that if girlfriends – or friends who are girls – would want to join in the fun, then that would be the same (Possibly better? Possibly worse, too) as with any guys who would play in the band. And there were at least two other women in Intrinsic Action, during the New York period: Razz and Sarah. And can women make a contribution to p.e.? Of course they can, but the percentage of women actively participating in the genre is so small, so the impact may be less noticeable. But in America, there are more and more women in noise groups, so maybe it is more common here, now, than in Europe???

The miniCD “Mothercare” and the first BLOODYMINDED CD “Trophy” are studded with sonic bullets of a very short duration. A rough, spare and skeletal form, which takes inspiration from punk culture. Do you agree with my statement? If you do, can you explain us something more? How much important was a punk background to Mark Solotroff?

You are quite correct. Punk and early grindcore, of course. This was a big part of the transition from Intrinsic Action to BLOODYMINDED – the desire to record and perform these blast songs – although they remain a staple part of our live show, to this day. I was listening to first wave punk from practically the beginning… Sex Pistols, Damned, etc. It is what led me to industrial groups, like Throbbing Gristle, S.P.K., Cabaret Voltaire, etc., in the first place. But it has a lot to do with discovering Discharge, around the same time as I began listening to early p.e. groups like Whitehouse, Sutcliffe Jugend, and Mauthausen Orchestra. Discharge is every bit as important to me as any early p.e. band. I saw Discharge for the first time (November 1983) within a year of seeing Whitehouse for the first time (June 1984) – and at the same club, too – The Cubby Bear. Each show offered intense sound, violent presentation, and an element of possible danger. Within a couple of years the transition to early Earache and Peaceville bands sort of sealed my interest in the short-form “blast.” We have covered the Napalm Death song, “You Suffer,” during several live shows. At one horrible show a couple of years ago, it was actually the ONLY song that we played!

The reprint on digital format of the Intrinsic Action singles under the name Peepland is recent. Peep shows, prostitution and sexclubs have always been a great source of inspiration for I.A. What do you want to communicate with this kind of elements?

I think it is simply an expression of this inspiration. It was all very in keeping with the early power-electronics aesthetic, right?

On that point, are you used to go to places devoted to extreme sex? What happens inside such rooms? Some curious anecdote?

Chicago used to be more interesting, for me, in those terms – and happily – I lived in New York before Times Square was erased. I do have many curious anecdotes, but I will leave them to peoples’ imaginations. Certainly, elements have been included in Intrinsic Action and BLOODYMINDED lyrics…

“True Crime” is BLOODYMINDED’s criminal synthesis. The serial-killing manifesto according to Mark Solotroff. What led you to release an album, which turns around such an overworked topic? What reasons lead you to get interest in true crime?

“True Crime” is a strange thing, because we started working on it in New York, in 1997, but it was not released until 2002. Granted, there were a couple of quiet years in there (1999-2000) for BLOODYMINDED, too. The point of that CD was really to put the topic to rest, once and for all… even if it happened later than I had originally planned. I just did not want to only be associated with the true crime thing, as I had been doing it since early on with Intrinsic Action. I think that I just started losing interest. The contemporary crimes were getting less spectacular, I was reading fewer books in that category, and groups like Slogun and Deathpile seemed to be approaching that type of subject matter with greater passion. I also felt that it was time for me to delve deeper into more personal subject matter and life experiences.

Let’s talk about the videoclip of “Chinatown”. How was this idea born? What message comes from those images?

“Chinatown” was basically developed from a period of time when I spent a tremendous amount of time in NYC’s Chinatown, soaking up the culture in this city-within-a-city. The video is actually shot in Chicago’s Chinatown, which is much smaller. The artist who made it, Dan Fiedler, accurately captured the narrative of the song, along with the general mood that I was trying to convey. It is one small aspect of BLOODYMINDED that I am 100% satisfied with.

After “True Crime”, you released “Gift Givers”. This album turns around the infamous ‘gift giving’ phenomenon. Why did you choose to deal with such an awkward and dangerous theme? Have you ever been present at some episodes of ‘gift giving’?

As I began to mention above, “Gift Givers” marks a transition into much more personal territory, exploring situations that I have been in, or that I have witnessed through girlfriends or friends… along with other themes related to self-harm and generally bad choices and behaviour. “Gift giving” is a broad term. Obviously, the public knows it mostly in relation to HIV/AIDS. But I think that the definition can be much broader. I have definitely been involved with and around other aspects of gifting, for better or for worse. Most simply put, my specific interest is in how far a person might go to feel closer to another person. I think that this is a fascinating concept, especially in the cold and distant age of e-mail, IM, text messages, etc.

Let’s talk about artworks. Both “True Crime” and “Gift Givers” are marked out with original and particular graphics. Floral designs and multicoloured butterflies. What do you want to communicate with those images? At a first sight they don’t have anything in common with your music.

In fact, these more nature-based images have everything to do with my music and my lyrics/subject matter. The indicators are all there in the songs. And come on, how long can a guy keep using the same old types of typical p.e. designs?!?! For me, “Magnetism” took that direction to the logical extreme. This ongoing artistic direction was instinctively developed through personal iconography, interests, and experiences.

The booklet of “Gift Givers” shows a skeletal, gaunt body. An anorexic girl. And a song entitled “Pro-Ana”. Can you talk us about this obsession, wound, mania?

It is just a subject and an aesthetic that I have followed for a many, many years, based upon personal interactions with certain people in my life. During the “Gift Givers” era, I was pretty obsessed with Pro-Ana LiveJournal pages and related websites. The thinner, the winner?

“Magnetism” is an episode that reminds of the analogical experimentations of “Bad Jack”. What leads you towards this way as regards of the most violent and ‘in your face’ attitude of BLOODYMINDED?

“Magnetism” was another breaking point for me, with BLOODYMINDED. It is my most personal project, to date. I wanted to move to another place in regards to how a song, or a theme, was presented. I allowed the song titles (and the complete album, of course) to make the statements that I felt were necessary. At the same time, I was increasingly interested in harnessing the feedback sounds that are so important to BLOODYMINDED – and for the last few years – my solo performances. I view it as the most pure BLOODYMINDED statement, yet.

A very curious side of “Magnetism” are the songs’ titles. Are they evidences of a particular experience? Maybe Pro-Ana chronicles?

I started to address this in the last question, but let me assure you that every song on that CD is directly based upon an actual personal experience. Maybe it would help to reveal the original working title for the album: “My Love Life.” While I was working on the recording, I remembered something that my mother had asked me several years earlier, and the term “magnetism” popped into my head. Now it is like a vernacular term in discussions with band members and friends. Pieter (Schoolwerth) implicitly understands the idea of magnetism, and Isidro (Reyes) has known me for so long that he had even been around during some of those “episodes.”

How was the idea of the tape series “Phase: One” born?

The “PHASES” series, which now actually includes the cassette, “PHASES : ONE” – the CD-R, “PHASES :TWO” – and soon, a triple 7-inch set, “PHASES : THREE” (Rococo Records) – and a one-sided 12-inch, “PHASES : FOUR” (Land o’Smiles/Black Lodge Series) – was meant as a way to further explore the sonic landscape that I started with “Magnetism” – to amplify the aspect of purer sound, maybe. It has been an opportunity to develop and to broaden the type of music that is typically associated with BLOODYMINDED. I think that as I was having old Intrinsic Action recordings re-mastered, and I was listening to the Source Control (SCTL) tapes, I was inspired by that long-form style… an maybe it is an analogue to the “blast” songs??? After nearly 13 years with BLOODYMINDED, I think that it is very important to keep challenging our audience, my band members, and myself. The “BLOODYMINDED PLAYS BLOODYMINDED” recording is another example of this interest. Beyond that, there was also a certain influence from the Virgin Prunes “New Forms of Beauty” series. Those Virgin Prunes re-releases had recently come out, when I was developing the ideas for “Magnetism,” and I was listening to those CDs, fairly non-stop.

Would you like to talk about your graphic and textual contribution on the Timeless’ issue dedicated to the topic of sex as the predator’s instinct?

Xavier Laradji, who publishes TIMELESS, has been a very close and important friend for over 10 years. His energy and enthusiasm for Intrinsic Action and BLOODYMINDED is absolutely a part of how this band was re-energized in the early 2000s. Whether it is a tour or just a vacation, every time that Xavier and I meet up, we are able to share in some very similar interests and obsessions, but we also, rewardingly, share other interests that may not start in the same mutual manner. Most recently, in London (November 2007), even for only one show during our U.K. tour, I was pleased to have Xavier’s energy on stage with me. James (Moy) and I had to sadly carry on the rest of the trip without him. I think that Xavier’s work with TIMELESS is vital, and it totally embodies his interests, personality, etc., like BLOODYMINDED does, with me.

Final comments?

Aldo, I mainly need to thank you for your interest in doing this interview, in the first place --- but also, I need to profusely apologize for how long it took me to answer these questions. Some people probably know how hard I normally avoid doing interviews. I really appreciate the careful thought behind your questions. It made this much better!

Status - 1/22

- All outstanding orders (individual, distro, Discogs) from the past week were mailed out this afternoon. I will respond soon to everyone who recently sent me a package. Thanks!

BloodLust! Interview Series: #1 Slogun

Slogun - John Balistreri

1. What have you been listening to lately?


2. Have you been to any interesting concerts recently?


3. Can you name a favorite film, or two (or a television program), from the last few months?


4. Have you read a good book lately?


5. Have you attended any recent art shows worth mentioning?


6. Do you have any current obsessions of note?


7. Please tell me what recordings, projects (any medium), etc., you are working on right now, if anything


8. What do you hope to accomplish this year?


9. Is there anything else that you would like to mention, announce, or hype?


BloodLust! Interview Series

I am working on a series of brief interviews with artists related to BloodLust! - or in some cases - artists whose work I just really appreciate. I will begin posting one per day, or so, as they come in...

Distro Update

New distro contact added to list
Wool-E Shop
Ghent, Belgium
Full site coming soon:

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

The Rest of the Day


Locrian + Mark Solotroff - WLUW Session (repeat plays)
Shining (various tracks)
Lifelover (various tracks)
The Cure "4:13 Dream"

The grain built.
The grain flowed.
The grain re-imagined...

- Practice ran nearly four hours last night so things are off to a rough start today. To say that my throat is shredded is an understatement, especially after the Locrian radio session on Sunday. I am easing into music with some low-volume Whores of Leith (or is New Juche Whores of Leith the correct full name?) MySpace tracks...

- I am trying to get a batch of packages in the mail today. Sorry to those who have been waiting a bit longer than usual... things have been really hectic with a new work project

Tuesday, January 20, 2009



Burton Greene- Cluster Quartet
(from "Bloom in the Commune")

AMM- Toccata
(from "Before driving to the chapel we took coffee with Rick and Jennifer Reed")

Bloodyminded- Ten Suicides
(from "Gift Givers")

Luc Ferrari- Place Des Abbesses
(from "Cellule 75")

Sonic Youth- Brother James
(from "Confusion is Sex + Kill Yr Idols")

Anthony Braxton- For Composer John Cage
(from "For Alto")

Earth- Teeth of Lions Rule the Divine
(from "Earth 2")
(Sub Pop)

Solmania- Evil Bed
(from "Evil Bed")

WAIF 88.3 FM
- Cincinnati, OH

Welcome to the new Locrian Weblog

Before I change the name of this blog and before heading out for another brisk run, here is one last review of a Locrian BloodLust! release, courtesy of 7 Inches weblog:

Locrian 7" on Bloodlust records

The Locrian mode is a minor scale of some kind used in all kinds of metal and I'm not musically trained enough to know if any of this material is built on this half diminished scale, but I have a feeling the name is more than related to this structure and the ominous, maybe inherent unsettling sound of this chord progression.

Are there sounds that in any culture would be universally frightening? (Other than animal warnings...) Another post for another day I think.

The band Locrian is Andre Foisy and Terrence Hannum on guitar and synth filtered through tons of electronics, distortion, delay, sampled loops and definitely in this ominous, dark feel. I don't know if I have been taught to fear these noises through popular culture or not, but this is not what I would call joyful music in any sense. I think the sound of a jarring distorted sample repeated over and over is so're immediate reaction is repulsion.

Their press materials list Terrence as vocals, but these two tracks on their 'Plague Journal' are instrumentals as far as I can tell. It may be so manipulated that any sense of the human voice is completely destroyed, unrecognizable. I would be amazed if they actually got to that point here. But this isn't just a barrage of extreme noise, I know it sounds like that. These two tracks are very different sides of their experimentation that I would say exists somewhere in the metal-psyche world. One side more metal/nu-noise and the other more ambient/environmental.

The A side abruptly starts with a distorted guitar phrase, looped into infinity. The hitting of the string keeps changing like the Disintegration Loops, the decay of the sound combined with the one being played on top becomes almost percussive. A low distorted bass or kick, with a metallic edge. It even becomes something of a didgeridoo kind of sound, a bass doubled in on itself...and on itself. It becomes layers on layers of quick little heavy phrases into infinity....somewhere on this chain is ultra echo at the point where literally the waves...the actual sound waves themselves are building on each other like the ocean and doubling up creating this deep low end whomp sound, like breaking the sound barrier.

It's the slow evolving track that wherever it ends up you don't remember how it got there exactly, it's devolved into quieter electronics and atonality. I can't tell exactly again what these sounds originated as...a far away brass note...mountains of hiss, feedback...a long drawn out siren.
But you can barely hear any trace of a guitar by the end.

B-Side lots of ethereal effects turning into a wind sound....there's definitely organic sounding elements, but I tend to think it's an electronic sound bent to the point of high pitch echo, delayed out to just be hiss? Or it is just tape hiss amplified and faded in and out.

This is the contemplative side with this finger tapping guitar note style, like I've been hearing about with Marnie Stern, but way slowed down, it's turned into something switched on and off. Towards the end I must be hearing something that started out as Terrance's vocals, far off in the distance....the best kind of ending the endless vinyl loop finishes this's on pure white noise vinyl...

Original link:

Blog to Blog - Rhetoric Reviewed

And this just in... The Smooth Assailing weblog posted a detailed review of the recent Locrian CD on BloodLust!, with a closing line in the opening paragraph that made me chuckle.


rhetoric of surfaces
[2008, bloodlust!]

locrian (named after a particular chord progression which produces a dissonant sound) is the duo of chicago's andre foisy and multi-media artist terence hannum (who seems to be better known for the non-musical aspects of his artistry). going into this, i didn't know what to expect. on the one hand, foisy's in unlucky atlas, a band that i basically described as something you'd expect to hear at open mic night at a coffee shop, when they sent me their cd a few years back. on the other, they have the endorsement of mark solotroff. somehow my mind can't fuse those two worlds together.

rhetoric of surfaces is an assemblage of some of locrian's out of print cassette and cd-r tracks, as well as one that was previously unreleased. speaking of which, that track, drosscape, opens up the disc with heavy guitar chords which will then drone away against an ominous backdrop. locrian's guitars will howl and moan as their drones slowly become entangled. soon, one of them will begin to emit waves which crescendo into screeching, and then droning, feedback. everything about this piece of music is fucking great.

burying the carnival seems to have a special place in these guys' hearts since it's the third time that it's appeared on a release. once on a split tape with arizona's continent, here and again on another cassette (which andre also sent to me, and, if tradition holds up, i'll be reviewing in three months). it builds atop a rather bleak landscape, replete with looping, emotionless drone. the main factor to carnival is the second guitar which trades off between feedback-inducing improvisation and the kind of self-indulgent shredding that seems to pay homage to every metal album from the 80s (i.e. makes me want to punch someone in the throat). oddly enough, though, i don't mind it. it sounds a lot more unique in this grim setting, with everything else moving at quarter speed. the distortion and feedback also help to soothe my anti-hair metal rage. the soloing of the latter, which is on display in the last four minutes (out of thirteen), is especially dear to me.

good thing i love me some feedback because there's another healthy dose of it to start off gruen transfers. slow, screeching guitar chords and high-pitched droning are matched up with a subdued ambiance, rather than what sounds like the aural definition of the word dungeon. the first half is all soft, moaning waves and rad guitar fuckery. after that, the ambiance is displaced by a pleasing melody and the fuckery is aided by a delay pedal for a spell, before the instrument drops out of the picture entirely.

despite the fact that tracks three and four weren't connected in any way (the first was from a radio show in '07, this one from a live performance in '06), the ringing church bells which gruen transfersvisible / invisible. the bells and drones make for a dramatic air, but once the driving rhythm and (what sounds to me like an) accordion come into play, v/i actually feels... optimistic, and rather conventional. the somberness of a droning wave is belied by the tone of the other instruments, even though it's the track's most forceful presence. eventually, the last eight minutes will swing into a pleasant post-climactic comedown of warm droning, even though there was never really a climax to begin with.

if you're putting together choice tracks from old material, the three minutes of chladni seem like a curious admission. it's enjoyable, but it's like a short rehashing of previously heard styles, whereas all of the other tracks on here have their own identity, which make rhetoric work as a condensed overview of what locrian is. still, it's enjoyable, and that's what counts.

closed out with will introduce the first six minutes of lengthwise, the twenty minutes of visible / invisible top the final track, amps into instruments, by two minutes, but this here is locrian's epic, and it's an excellent one. they'll open with the squall of one guitar competing with the methodical, delicate melody of the other. shortly thereafter, a vocal drone is added, with nice tonal changes. that will prove to be fleeting and then the intro melody will be abandoned as a ringing drone presides over a loud buzzing guitar drone and another constant one. the vocals will return, briefly, but this time, when they end, amps will take on a completely different tone and is it starts to hit its real stride. once it's at this point, it's hard to view the first eight minutes as anything other than a nice build-up, since it's vastly different. for starters, the droning is serene, as are the accompanying guitar chords. just before eleven minutes, they'll introduce something that had been noticeably absent, percussion. granted, it's just a steady throb, but it's a new dynamic. there's also some lovely, almost orchestral string-work which, very quickly, finds itself swallowed by an, all of a sudden, dark atmosphere, which was initiated by the entrance of heavier, delayed guitar chords. as it keeps rolling on, what was orchestral turns into heavenly hums; what was throbbing is now knocking. the guitar also breaks out of its randomness and into a soaring zenith which is half droning noise, half actual playing. i love the buried yells in the background, too. honestly, the last four minutes of this track are fucking amazing. this is how you end an album.
alright, any feelings of hesitancy that i had at the beginning of this review are dead and buried. rhetoric of surfaces is damn good. while i liked some tracks more than others (well, visible / invisible is the only one that i'm on the fence about), what i take away from this album is the knowledge that locrian can be incredibly good. hopefully you will, too.

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Last Night...

It was a great show last night and it was really cool to see a nearly full house in place as Locrian was getting started. Sometimes, those Critics Choice write-ups work. With candles (were they scented or was that incense?!?) and a fog machine setting the stage, the three-piece Locrian got straight to work on delivering an excellent set of heavy, droned-out, ritualistic pieces. Certain key elements of Sunday night's radio session -- which I am listening to right now -- were recognizable, while some new components were added to their repertoire. I am really looking forward to seeing what transpires this weekend in the studio!

Bloodiest filled the stage then filled the room with a more baroque -- or maybe medieval -- take on blackened avant-garde metal and they varied between complex and pretty repetitions and all-out stompers. The last two main songs (I think it was), with more-aggressive vocals from Bruce Lamont, blew me away.

Indian wrapped up the night with a heavy set of bleak doom, with a nod, maybe, to early Unsane or other metal-thinking post hardcore stuff. The bass guitar was returning through the amps as a physical entity, it was so thick, heavy, and low-down.

I was pleased to see so many friends at the show, as it had been a while, with the holidays, and all.

Ritual magick being practiced last night at The Empty Bottle

Monday, January 19, 2009


Not much of a warm up...

Anyhow, I am staying more modern this afternoon, and continuing to listen to production styles, space, dynamics, etc.:

Pre-Run Noise

Waiting for the temperature to go up a bit...

- Wolf Eyes + Sickness “There is a Part of me that You will Never Know” LP (Hospital)
- Cleanse "The Prince" Single-sided LP (Hospital)
- Twodeadsluts Onegoodfuck LP (Apop)

Locrian Recap + Reminder

Last night's radio session on Philip von Zweck's "Something Else" show (WLUW 88.7 FM) went really well and I was very pleased to have been a part of the session. Locrian consisted of their "more metal" three-piece incarnation, with Andrew from Velnias sitting in on drums. Spread out between 11:00 PM and 1:30 AM we played four songs together, two of which had a more propulsive metal direction and two of which followed a more noise/heavy drone path. I contributed feedback and vocals to two of the songs and synth (Roland MC-202) to the other two pieces. I am looking forward to hearing the results, as my only impression was from inside an approximately 100 square foot cinder-block room, two feet away from the bass drum, two feet away from Terence's pushed-to-the-limit amp, and one foot away from Andre's howling amp. Safe to say, this was more than just a warm-up for next weekend's Locrian recording sessions, where I will also be collaborating with the band.

Over multiple (I only slept three hours) espressos, I just spent some time with two new Locrian releases:

- Locrian/Katchmare split 7-inch on Pilgrim Talk
- Locrian "Land of Contamination" loop cassette/booklet

The marble vinyl single, a split with Bloomington's Katchmare, is presented in an extremely handsome, letterpressed sleeve, and it is limited to a mere 100 copies. The two artists compliment each other quite well. Those who have the recent Locrian CD, "Rhetoric of Surfaces," will recognize "Drosscape," which unwinds quite nicely from the dark vinyl grooves.

The loop tape - which, if you are not careful, you may find playing over and over and over, similar to some of my listening experiences with the lock groove on their "Plague Journal" single - comes with a small booklet that expands upon the abandoned shopping mall imagery from
"Rhetoric of Surfaces" and some of the band's recent flyers, and it comes with an embroidered patch, a pin, and a sticker. It is ultra-limited, so do not hesitate if it sounds like it might be up your alley.

--- Finally, Locrian plays a free show tonight at the Empty Bottle with Bloodiest and Indian, both of whom I last saw on Halloween. This trio of bands is an excellent match-up of differing metal styles, from deconstructed to expansive to pummelling. Check out what the Reader had to say about Locrian, here