Monday, November 19, 2012

Out Now: B!172 Chris Connelly "Artificial Madness" LP

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BloodLust! is very pleased to announce the release of the vinyl version of Chris Connelly's outstanding "Artificial Madness" album.  This is the LP version of the CD that Relapse released in late 2011.  "Artificial Madness" represents a momentous step in the progression of this very accomplished Chicago-based, Scottish-born musician, offering a suite of contemporary, heavy, high-energy rock songs that reveal measured lyrics paired with meticulously crafted songs.  While Chris has certainly delivered beautiful records in the past, the maturity of this album may surprise some fans who have followed his prolific, diverse and rather hedonistic career in music.

Lyrically, the album offers a set of narratives that seem to accurately define a truly dystopian landscape, setting stories in invented locales, in which the inhabitants lead a dark, dehumanized and anxious existence.  Stylistically, "Artificial Madness" sounds very modern, even as it draws from an arsenal of heavy post-punk music elements that Chris has built upon since the mid- to late-1980s, whether solo, with Ministry or Revolting Cocks, or with current and former members of Killing Joke and Public Image Limited.

This album also happens to feature numerous friends of mine.  Perhaps Chris needs no further introduction, but his impact on the world of dark and heavy music, both in Chicago and beyond, should not be underestimated.  And for those who think his “electronic” work is limited to the Wax Trax! style of industrial music – as if such as thing was that easy to classify – let me tell you about a very memorable 1989 show at Dreamerz, when Chris opened up for the still-new My Life With The Thrill Kill Kult, shocking (most of) the crowd with a vicious, assertive, straight-up power-electronics set.
  On a label-related note, Chris previously sang on the Plague Bringer "Burning Inside" CD single box set (B!155, 2010), an exclusive Record Store Day release that featured a cover version of a well-known song by one of his former bands, Ministry.
And for this album, Chris assembled a veritable who’s who of heavy-hitters from Chicago.  Sanford Parker (keyboards, engineering and production) is known from the bands Buried At Sea, Minsk, Twilight and Nachtmystium, and he previously played alongside Chris in The High Confessions.  Sanford also recorded the forthcoming BLOODYMINDED album, "Within The Walls," and he recorded and played synth alongside me on the imminent Wrekmeister Harmonies album, "You've Always Meant So Much To Me."  Will Lindsay (bass) is a good friend, who has also sat in on bass with Anatomy of Habit, while I have contributed live synth and vocals to Will's band, Indian.  Will is also known for his work with bands including Nachtmystium, Wolves in the Throne Room and Middian.  Dallas Thomas (guitar) is known for his band The Swan King and he also happens to be playing with the celebrated group Pelican, these days.  His amazing guitar style and tone is unmistakable on this LP.  Noah Leger (drums) has recently been helping out on drums with Anatomy of Habit and he is known from a number of diverse local groups, including Electric Hawk, Head of Skulls, Tight Phantomz, and Milemarker.  Noah most recently joined the exciting Chicago group Disappears.  Safe to say, I am really excited to be releasing Chris' record!

- Mark Solotroff, BloodLust!