Saturday, September 05, 2009
3111 N. Western Avenue
Chicago, IL 60618
Cult of Youth
More details to follow...
Friday, September 04, 2009
Album: Plague Journal 7"
1. Plague Journal
2. Apocryphal City, Portents Fallen
Locrian is the Chicago-based duo of Terence Hannum and Andre Foisy, visual artists and academics who meld processed synthesizers, guitars, vocals, and loops into fluid, shifting noise pieces. Their approach is influenced primarily by the more artistic/esoteric wing of black metal and the ambient/drone tone float experiments conducted by Fripp, Eno, and a host of electronic musicians in the 1970's; at times, elements of heavy, guitar-based post-rock and industrial seep in as well. They've been steadily amassing a catalog of highly limited releases across all the collector scum formats, gradually refining their approach, which culminated in this year's monolithic Drenched Lands full-length. Their fine-arts background shows in the artwork of their releases, focusing on abandoned cast-concrete buildings and esoteric sigils. Their live shows have made them popular on the festival circuit, and have led to some oddball show pairings (opening for Anal Cunt in New York City, for one).
The Plague Journal 7" was released last year as part of Bloodlust! Records' Private Series, with packaging that's a sharp break from the rest of their finely developed aesthetic. Like the other releases in the Private Series, it has a plain white cover, is on white vinyl with minimal information on the labels, and has an insert with only the most basic information about the release available. If the idea is to get the listener to pay attention to the music contained within, it's a successful one, as Plague Journal is an essential piece of Locrian's catalog. Side A begins with a particularly hypnotic delayed guitar riff played by Foisy, which decays into layers of synth static. Slightly over four minutes in, a shimmering, bell-like texture emerges, the piece shifting into a more melodic, floating tone for the final minute or so. Side B begins with a swirling, wind-like synth pad, as a repetitive guitar figure, reminiscent of Glenn Branca or Mogwai, remains in the eye of the storm. It gradually gets more intense and violent, before the side ends in a locked groove.
Both of Locrian's full-lengths are phenomenal as well, but may be too foreboding for a more casual listener. A shorter release, like this 7" or one of their many tapes, is a good way to get a taste of their sound before delving into the pollution-blackened depths of the rest of their catalog.
From Broken Face
Tuesday, August 25, 2009
Admittedly I didn’t know much about Chicago’s Locrian when Drenched Lands arrived at my doorstep a few months back, but the darkly seducing sounds swept me away within seconds, or at least minutes. It starts slowly with desolate, grainy guitarscapes that moves into a drone that sounds like tumbleweed on its way to burst into fire at any given second. There’s so much energy packed within every segment that it makes me afraid that the involved won’t be able to stay away from the noise crescendo for much longer. But they stick to the tortured power drone for as long as it’s needed. We get shards of feedback from the wastelands and endless loops that seem to be conjured from dark wells, twisting around its own axis in the infinite darkness before briefly rediscovering the white light.
It’s been long since I heard anyone describing alienation in society with the same unrelenting force, but at the same time displaying so much emotion. Most tracks definitely nods in the noise/drone direction while others maintain the magically resonating damaged soundscapery but at the same time pirouettes into something a whole lot more organic. Sure, this is experimental and primitive in its nature but the feedback squalls are presented in such an atmospheric, melodic and even melancholic way that it despite its heavy origins strikes me as very emotional. Drenched Lands is a true masterpiece that manages to sound surprisingly original and it will for sure be on my top ten list when it’s time to wrap up the year.
Thursday, September 03, 2009
Thursday, September 3, 2009
The Golden Sores - A Peaceable Kingdom [Bloodlust!]
I opened this up when I returned from Europe, I was pretty psyched to see the cover as I had literally scene that painting two days before. Anyway, this isn't an entirely useless anecdote because the vibe from the painting matches the sounds perfectly. As the title suggests, there's peacefulness to this music but not necessarily in the contented, happy sense. There’s a touch of anguished resignation in the peace, like that lamb which is quietly peaceable, but only as a result of being bound and, as far as I can tell, killed. Opener, "Double Gyres" is relaxing or maybe even comforting in a way with smooth tones gliding throughout but there's also restlessness present too. A few slightly noisy tones rub against the grain of the track. They don't actually derail the track in any way, but that’s just because the sounds flow around them, the way a river reacts when something is trying to move upstream. It's a simple but effective maneuver, lulling the listener while keeping him on edge. "The Awful Rowing Toward God" doesn’t pull any punches however. Loads of distorted waves splash and swell, creating a fair maelstrom but somehow The Golden Sores keep a sense of calm in the center of it all. A peace in the eye of storm kind of ordeal. After a slow dissolving of feedback, “Klonopin” cautiously takes flight. The piece nearly has a choral quality, despite only a few layers of sound. It’s a little hypnotizing, seeping into you without you really realizing it. The six minutes move by surprisingly fast considering what a leisurely pace the piece moves at. “We’ll Wield Fire” is a sort of midpoint between “Klonopin” and "The Awful Rowing Toward God." A distorted synth wanders alone for some time until a stuttering melody rises nearly consuming the initial synth. The piece is in perpetual forward motion, chugging along building to an unknown climax. Surprisingly, the climax is a pretty, shuffling little melody at the end. Remnants of which carry into the next piece “Ondine,” the most straightforwardly melodic and pretty track here. I think it’s a duet between guitar and keyboard but I can’t be certain; The Golden Sores have a way of melting whatever instruments they use down into pure tones. “A Vision” finishes things off transcendent fashion, with The Golden Sores once more exhibiting their prowess for weaving crystalline drones into captivating compositions. This CD is worth looking into for the drone-minded legions, The Golden Sores are one of the more mature sounding drone groups I’ve heard if you can make any sense of that statement. Still available.
- The Bereft "Your Messiah Will Fail" test CD arrived while I was away and it looks and sounds great! After a few more plays, to make sure it sounds perfect, I will order the discs, and they should arrive in advance of the original proposed release date of October 1st
Wednesday, September 02, 2009
Nightmares "s/t" 7-inch
Edition of 300 on marbled color vinyl
$9.00 USA/$11.00 Canada+Mexico/$13.00 Rest of World @ postpaid
Nightmares "s/t" CD
Edition of 100
$12.00 USA/$14.00 Canada+Mexico/$16.00 Rest of World @ postpaid
Nightmares "s/t" Cassette (C-30)
Edition of 100
$8.00 USA/$10.00 Canada+Mexico/$12.00 Rest of World @ postpaid
Limited stock is available. Please note that the cassettes and the CDs are nearly gone. Reasonable amounts of the vinyl are still on hand.
Please e-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org) first to check availability. I will respond with confirmation and payment details.
P.S. If I am unable to fulfill any orders, you can alternately contact David (email@example.com) or Jonathan (firstname.lastname@example.org). Thanks.
Twodeadsluts Onegoodfuck - Champagne And Biological Women
Tuesday, September 01 2009 @ 02:00 AM PDT
Contributed by: Vargr Wulf
Artist: Twodeadsluts Onegoodfuck
Title: Champagne And Biological Women
Genre: Power Electronics/ Noise
01 Covered In Shit
02 Down In The Dirt
03 Still Erect (...And Definitely Not Leaving)
04 Mark Solotroff Built My Hotrod
A powerful and layered piece of audio depravity from the boys of TDSOGF and the evil mind behind Bloodlust! Track One, "Covered In Shit," comes in relentlessly and without warning. I have my record player EQ'd to the "jazz" setting on this and other noise releases, I find that captures a wider range of sound than "rock," and adequately highlights the morose and almost bluesy textures to the electronic assault contained on these tracks. An atmospheric gap between tracks one and track two ("Down In The Dirt") gives an enjoyable level of tension on the first side, which requires repeated listens in order to gain the full impact. TDSOGF has a "rocking" power electronics sound that fits in absolutely perfectly on the Bloodlust label, and this release is a stunning and brief picture of that partnership. The artwork is in the classic 90's noise collage style, showing spread-open legs, starving African children, the Virgin Mary and Lucifer in a Byzantine-style Icon painting, accident photos, antique pornography, and pictures of a baby and a symphony orchestra. Although the name of the group leaves nothing to the imagination, the music on here show a level of restraint and discipline that is very impressive. The themes of the music are in the classic Power Electronic style expressed by Consumer Electronics and Whitehouse, that of domination and submission acted out in extreme electronic music.
"Still Erect" begins with a low hum and high pitched cicada-like sounds, leading into a crunchy and scream-filled rape-rant. The final track, "Mark Solotroff Built My Hotrod," seems to be a tounge-in-cheek tip of the phallus to label owner Solotroff. It features a very strong synth buzzon the outset, with a concerned and direct vocal that sort of passes by and the whole thing is wrapped up by a sample at the end. It is a sample of a man ranting about money and success. The performance level of this EP has a "next-level" sort of feel that takes this release into a sort of lofty Hermann Nitsch-like level of visceral aesthetic punishment. These guys have what you would call "commitment to the bit." The songs on here have an influence from the groups's background in the hardcore scene, giving the tracks a brevity and wholeness that makes them unique little vignettes onto themselves.
This is a very blunt and memorable EP that reminds me somewhat of the EP's that Whitehouse did with Steve Albini, like the sound and aesthetic of "Thank Your Lucky Stars." The tracks are all regrettably brief, but there is a lot of quality on here that keeps the active listener flipping this over from side to side. It sounds a little bit different every time that I listen to it, and I'm on probably the 6th or 7th listen at this point. I would guess that none of these tracks are much longer than a minute and thirty seconds. I could definitely listen to tracks 2 and 4 in much longer versions. Powerful and dynamic mastering on this by James Plotkin, one hopes that these guys will do more work with Bloodlust in the future. Great music, very listenable and in the end mercifully brief (leaving you wanting more). Definitely a must-purchase for those of you with any interest in modern Power Electronics, these guys will show you what is up. I can't tell what the hell they are saying on here, however, and a lyric sheet would definitely be of assistance to the listener. A minor gripe regarding an essential release.
David is already on the road, heading back to Columbus and Jonathan - and Miss Suzie Q. are probably wandering through the Art Institute, right now, hopefully finding the Bellmer pieces that I directed them too.
More thoughts and odds 'n' ends to follow, I am sure...