Friday, May 21, 2010


Helen Money - Poster Design 2

Exclaim! (Canada) on Locrian "Territories" LP


By Bryon Hayes

With Territories, Locrian have branched out beyond their decayed world of noise and drone, augmenting their traditionally bleak, soulless mire with elements of black metal and power electronics. Fittingly, all but one of the six compositions presented on this LP feature an expanded line-up ― the core duo of AndrĂ© Foisy and Terence Hannum have enlisted four of Chicago's black metal/power electronics luminaries to lend a hand. This symbiotic relationship has resulted in the most ambitious and malevolent Locrian release yet. Tracks such as "Procession of Ancestral Brutalism" and "The Columnless Arcade" are exercises in noise/metal fusion, while "Between Barrows" and "Ring Road" almost veer into (gasp!) post-rock territory. Each song is able to stand on its own, yet there is an element of fluid cohesion that binds the tracks together. Taken as a whole, Territories comes across as a well-assembled document.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Cerebral Metalhead/Chainmail on Locrian "Territories" LP

From: Cerebral Metalhead

Ronnie James Dio is dead. I never really knew him aside from his role as a talking head in VH1 documentaries and his popularization of the metal horns. Yet the more I read, the more samples of his work with Rainbow, Dio and Black Sabbath that I hear, the more real his death becomes. While I wouldn't say that my life feels any different, I do feel more connected to the metal world because of the collective outpouring of mourning. And so I mourn, as well.

The new Locrian album Territories is ideal for this mood. The emotions it inspires are fathoms deep and unnameable. It is everything that Dio's music was not -- fuzzy, oblique, meditative, often static. There will be no holy diving to the synth and bass throb of "Ring Road." Terence Hannum, Mark Solotroff (Bloodyminded), Blake Judd (Nachtmystium) and Bruce Lamont (Yakuza), each of whom contribute emaciated howls to "Procession of Ancestral Brutalism," could learn a few things about enunciation from Dio. This music feels dry and empty, even at its most energetic. Territories is the purgatory that Dio must wait in while his afterlife is determined. Heaven? Hell? Heaven and Hell?

Locrian's last album Drenched Lands soundtracked Chicago's urban dystopia with improvised windscapes and scratchy feedback. Half ofTerritories thaws out the desolation by setting its improvised electronics against warmly-recorded, Ulver-like black metal storms from Judd, Hannum, Locrian's Andre Foisy and drummer Andrew Scherer (Velnias). "Procession of Ancestral Brutalism," is really inspired black metal, and I hope to hear this expanded band record a whole record like it someday. But the two disparate styles feel frictive, especially when the latter erupts out of nowhere a few minutes in to "The Columnless Arcade." It's too Dio-like, its regal drum patterns and repeated harmonies clenching triumph from the jaws of horror. I am gratified that such bold improvisers as Locrian are taking steps away from their discomfort zone, even more gratified that they're putting Bruce Lamont's saxophone to good use (his layered braying on "Between Barrows" threatens to steal the album). I don't want to be woken from my drone-drenched reverie by blastbeats though. Too much emphasis on rhythm. Give me more organ, more queasiness. Let me mourn for Dio in improvised peace and quiet feedback.

30 Years

Status - 5/18

- Big Post Office run yesterday... all paid B! orders are up-to-date... Discogs will be caught up later today...

- Isidro and I had a really interesting The Fortieth Day session last night... heavily synth, bass, and rhythm-driven... and extremely loud...

- BLOODYMINDED "Magnetism" (B!057) re-press now in production (finally)...

Rare Compilation with Intrinsic Action on eBay

A rather expensive copy of the very rare 1994 "Exploration One" CD is currently up on eBay

Monday, May 17, 2010


Following a cooling down period after a really nice, long Sunday afternoon Kuma's blow-out, Isidro and I made it down to Mortville to see some friends play last night. Having been listening to the recent Coppertone CD EP quite a bit lately, I wanted to see/hear what Miss Sasha W. was going to do live. And aside from overpowering the circuit in the room that she was performing in and needing a re-start, what she did for her second ever solo show (!) was wow the audience with some lovely and melancholy minimal synth material. I appreciated that her voice was more echo-y and less vocoder-y than on the first CD that I have. That really helped set a particularly somber mood. I left with a new disc that features the plucked-string loop-driven last song that she played/sang, and I am looking forward to hearing the studio version, as it was my favorite piece in her set. Both Alex and Jeremy from Oakeater played cinematic solo synth sets last night, but the styles verged into very different territories. Alex's set was definitely like the soundtrack to a 1980s Italian horror film. The multiple pieces that he played combined a mixture of Tangerine Dream and Goblin styles, making for a progressive synth feel. It was nice to watch him actually "play" too. Jeremy processed his modular set-up to create more of a long-form soundscape that certainly nodded to 1970s and 1980s synth music, but it had a less identifiable feel to it, not being as easy to tie to, say, Giallo films, etc. Good stuff, all around.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Status - 5/16

- Packing up the first batch of weekend orders to send out tomorrow

- Saw a cool show last night, headlined by Sleeping with the Earth, from Portland. I realized that I had not seen Eric play since BLOODYMINDED did a few shows with him in February 2005 (Detroit, Champaign, Chicago), when I was dying from bronchitis and coughing up blood. That was a charming night at Buddy, as some will remember. But fuck, it was that long ago? Really? Then it was off to the La Mere Vipere reunion party at Clubfoot. In the words of Xavier, "punk's not dead." You had to be there... But at least it knocked me out of my Doors album retrospective from yesterday -- but only to nudge me back into a Bowie "Heroes" thing today...

- Off to Kuma's to celebrate Isidro's birthday, and then hopefully to Mortville, to see Coppertone, Rrind, etc.