Friday, March 12, 2010

KEXP on Locrian "Territories" LP

From: KEXP 90.3 FM Seattle

Agitated Atmosphere: Locrian - Territories

As major labels continue to exist behind the times, artists and labels with little capital and lesser reputations are producing some of the most innovative, interesting, and inspiring music. Whether it’s creating a new niche in digital technology or looking to once obsolete formats, Agitated Atmosphere hopes to pull back the curtain on a wealth of sights and sound from luminaries such as Locrian.

The dark recesses visited by Locrian are all too familiar to those who have grappled with their inner demons with accompaniment by doom metal and industrial acts for the past quarter-century. The dark cloud that looms over Territories, the latest LP from Locrian through Small Doses, finds the group delving into the bottomless abyss of uncertainty.

Album opener “Inverted Ruins” straddles the line of between industrial’s past and doom’s present. The vocals are gnarled and venomous, scratching out their story into the ebon ember melody. The slow and heavy pace is counterpointed by sharp, high-pitched screeching; the clawing of our hapless victim desperately attempting to dig his way out from under the endless layers of dirt in which he is buried. The trip into darkness is one Locrian has taken many times, yet one that will leave listeners deeply affected by the scorched tones in which they are repeatedly baptized.

It’s this fearlessness that drives André Foisy and Terence Hannum’s vision. The combination of white noise, variable static, low-end tunings, and spatial arrangements turn Territories into a viscous mix of tar, oil, and mud that is unwashable. The machine gun guitar of “Procession of Ancestral Brutalism” mimics the frantic scrubs of Lady Macbeth unable to rinse the blood of her evil deeds away; the anguished screams represent her confrontation with her sins; the crashing cymbals the thunder claps of the gods passing their stern judgment upon her. Territories is all these and more. An album as complex and theme-heavy as classic literature and as technologically integrated as human flesh meeting cybernetic parts, Territories captures the malaise of modern living in its onyx-tinted Petri dish. As we swim around, confused by the blackness of our surroundings and confounded with how to clear up our messes, Locrian hovers in the disconnected netherworld capturing every emotion in its medieval ooze to cast us in plaster for ever more.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Buyer's Market on eBay

Very rare... Very expensive... Check here

Sneak Peek: BLOODYMINDED "Boston 2009"

To be released on April 23, 2010 - to coincide with BLOODYMINDED shows in Chicago and Minneapolis

B!154 BLOODYMINDED "Boston 2009" CD

Animal Psi on Locrian "Territories"

A very thoughtful review from Animal Psi:

And then they were a band. With huge contributions by Mark Solotroff (Bloodyminded), Bruce Lamont (Yakuza), and Blake Judd (Nachtmystium), the pair of Foisy and Hannum are joined by drummer Andrew Scherer for three of the six tracks to fully realize the metal fetish which informs their distinct brutalism. Assembled by four labels, ‘Territories’ is not only a high watermark for Locrian but a remarkable good-faith gesture by several of the scene’s most vital patron-labels. Akin to the darkest of Coil’s private press, “Inverted Ruins” begins the disc with a single blade of head-splitting feedback quickly offset by a watery melody of synthesizer strain - the maneuver then reversed, reciprocated, cauterized into arbitrary chunks by a Whitehouse laser – and tattered, immediate percussion, all while Solotroff adds a wonderfully-dissembled John Balance sermon (lyrics included in the liner notes). Lamont’s saxophone smoothes out with sustained tones and murmuring strings in the cold-ass passage “Between Barrows”, a magnificent deception leading into the twin central peaks of “Procession of Ancestral Brutalism” and “Ring Road”: the former a deteriorating black metal of sheet-metal crash and howling vocals ala Wolves in the Throne Room, sooty with tape effects, its ten minutes are matched by the latter, a busy erasure of heat-swollen synth sequences and distorted guitar phased in trick wall of sound texture. Clean lines of guitar noir form the disc’s second interlude like a test track leading into the crackling transmissions which begin “The Columnless Arcade”, accumulating layers of noisy curtain which part midtrack to expose, like a secret less shameful than indulgent, a belligerent prog-metal of pull-offs, sustains, and woven notes - Hannum’s shredded vocals like a wraith beneath the glassy finish of whole tones of Locrian guitar and synthesizer which finally reveal themselves in full. It’s exceedingly rare to anticipate an album exploding onto the scene without some jaded sense of fluke connections or passing fancies but only by an essential power and brilliance which cannot be confused. ‘Territories’ is one of those moments, and it couldn’t happen to a more deserving outfit. And if this isn’t the moment which does it for Locrian, I’m probably not alone in feeling relief that they’ll be ours for a little longer. On black vinyl, limited to 500 copies. Highest recommendation.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Sneak Peek: Fecalove 7-Inch

This is still off in the distance, a bit, but since the artwork is finalized...

B!148 Fecalove "Dead Weight" 7-inch

Crucial Blast on Kriminaaliset Metsänhaltijat (Again)

With thanks to Adam for the thoughtful write-up!

Recorded in 2001 but only now being released, this full length from the Finnish industrial group Kriminaaliset Metsänhaltijat comes to us via BloodLust! who also put out the band's Anarkkia, Kaaos, Maailmanloppu! EP that I listed in the shop a few months ago (and which introduced me to the band's clanking industrial fury). It's more of the grinding, raw industrial sounds that this group is known for, a series of anti-war nightmares delivered through a battery of distorted synths, turntable noise, clanking drum machines and furious, distorted vocals. The most obvious reference points for Kriminaaliset's sound are SPK, NON, and Throbbing Gristle, but their approach is much heavier and more violent, injecting the influence of hardcore punk and the more extreme edges of Japanese noise into these nihilistic noise dirges. Super heavy blown out percussion and cymbals grind beneath wheezing organ drones, these drones almost sounding as if they're coming from an enormous pipe organ, buzzing beneath the cavernous percussive racket, snarled flurries of freeform drumming, samples from Finnish war films, distorted buzzing synth bleeps, and primitive electronic rhythms. The drumming is a big factor in what makes this band sound so heavy - the drums are shot through a dense wall of reverb and echo to the point where it becomes a solid mass of pummeling sound, like old school industrial possessed with a free-jazz energy lurking beneath the thick layers of hiss and rumble, the droning electronic/organ sounds building in strength across the album, becoming more and more ominous. The vocals are pretty intense as well, based in the classic distorted power electronics style but even more hellishly distorted, sometimes delivered as snarling blackened shrieks, much of the time not even recognizable as vocals, and instead becoming a murky wash of infernal hiss. Then there's two tracks that aren't industrial at all, and instead are old recordings of Finnish folks songs ("Aanisen Aallot I" and "Elama Juoksuhaudoissa I") from the WWII era, all wistful accordions and violins. These Finns are creating some of the darkest contempo industrial right now, and this disc is just as pummeling and ferocious as the previous EP. Recommended.

Track Samples:

Sample : Elama Juoksuhaudoissa II
Sample : Perkele

Pieter Schoolwerth + Wierd - Paris - This Week

Wierd Records, Agnes b., Galerie Nathalie Obadia, and Miguel Abreu Gallery Present:

Xeno & Oaklander
Frank(just Frank)
DJs: Pieter(Wierd Records), Gilles Le Guen(Decadanse), and JB(Born Bad Records)

Social Club
142, rue Montmartre
75002 Paris
Tel. 01 40 28 05 55

Thursday, March 11th
10pm / Gratis


Pieter Schoolwerth
Galerie Nathalie Obadia
March 13th-May 15th
Vernissage: Saturday March 13th 6-9pm

More about this exhibition

Status - 3/9

I did a massive Post Office run before AoH practice tonight... All paid orders (B!, Discogs, eBay) have been sent out... Mega-thanks for the enthusiasm and the support this month!

As a follow-up to last year's Record Store Day release from - and performance by - Bruce, Rita, and me, BloodLust! is cooking up a very special Record Store Day 2010 release, specific to the three Reckless Records locations in Chicago... and it has to do with one of my AoH bandmates... It is a bit of a mindfuck in how unexpected it is... Stay tuned...

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Locrian Stock Check

I have less than 20 copies of the new Locrian "Territories" LP left in stock, and less than 20 copies of their "Plague Journal" 7-inch. The "Rhetoric of Surfaces" CD remains in-print and in-stock. Thanks to everyone who has already ordered the LP!

In Production: B!133 Mark Solotroff "Archive03" CD

B!133 Mark Solotroff "Archive03" CD

Part three of the series - April 2010

Plague Haus on Bereft

From Plaugue Haus, with thanks to Jeff for the review - and to Peter L. for the heads-up

Bereft : Your Messiah Will Fail

Written by J.

Bereft : Your Messiah Will FailBloodlust! : 2009
Format : CDr

For a couple of years now Bereft have been among the few US Industrial projects I continually keep my eye (and ears) on. Effortlessly bending Death Industrial atmospheres with Power Electronics aggression, they seem to be deft at creating something outside the status quo for underground noise. The duo currently consists of Peter Lee (Force of Nature Productions) and Andy Grant (The Vomit Arsonist / Danvers State Recordings) and this CDr is their second for Mark Solotroff’s Bloodlust! label.

The disc begins with the oscillating hum of “Hidden Agenda”. Enter sizzling static, muted feedback and Black Metal-style vocals for perfect DI atmosphere. Slipping effortlessly into the 15 minute plus title track, the sizzle gives way to a pulsating mechanical buzz like an alarm at some decrepit factory, bubbling organic noise and half whispered vocals. About half way through things turn ugly, harsher with intermittent blasts of feedback and a rhythmic pulse pounding low in the mix. “Just One Bullet” groans open wide, yawning synth like a chasm to hell vomiting leathery winged creatures screeching from it’s maw like the feedback equivalent of a Bosch painting. Next is the hypnotic “No Change In Sight”, a flat tire flapping on a deserted desert road, bursting and roaring into the night. Squalls of terror as vocals compete with demonic feedback. Varying pitches of oscillating rumbles and feed comprise the whole of “Grinding Out” creating the perfect accompaniment to sister track “A Wall Of Promises”, both are vocal-less, making heavy use of looped noise and synth. Personally I like the vocal style of the project and “No Choice/Victim” delivers the goods, lots of crackling aggression, feeds and maniacal ranting. “Resolution” is the album closer, a high end assault like some test of the emergency broadcast system from the ninth circle and this bizarre oboe-like synth riff flowing underneath. This gives way to spacey interludes and mechanized rhythm. It’s just fucked up, weird and I like it.

Standard jewel case issue with insert, but anyone using Gustave Doré images gets a thumbs up from me as well. Limited to 250 and definitely worth your time and money.

In Production: B!151 Neil Jendon "Cities In Flight" CD

B!151 Neil Jendon "Cities In Flight" CD - Front Cover

The follow-up to Jendon's 2008 BloodLust! release, "Invisibility" (B!117). New modular-synth madness, coming in April...

Monday, March 08, 2010

Poster For 4/23 Show

Poster For April 23, 2010 Show

Event links:

OMG Vinyl on Locrian

From OMG Vinyl

The second vinyl album of forward-thinking metal from the peerless Locrian. It’s hard to attach a sub-genre to these guys, they incorporate a wide range of influences into a very cohesive whole, but that whole is definitely grey, oppressive and depressing (that’s a good thing if you like this kind of music). Totally nihilistic music made my two very nice gentlemen, Territories also includes contributions from members of Nachtmystium and Yakuza, among others.