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Novi_sad, "Wound_Burner"

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cover imageCompared to the multimedia project Sirens from last year, Thanasis Kaproulias’s latest work as Novi_sad is more of a return to his older style as far as composition goes.  The single piece that makes up this album may be less concept-heavy, with the only information included being that is is based on environmental recordings in the US, Sweden, Brazil, and the Greek countryside.  But even stripped back to just music, Wound_Burner excels in both its diversity and its sense of cohesion.  Throughout the 45 minutes he mixes in digital interference, noisy found sounds, traditional electronics, and even voice (courtesy of Irini Kyriakidou in a swirling, yet structurally consistent and gripping album.

Last Updated on Monday, 04 September 2017 11:48

David Nance, "Negative Boogie"

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cover imageI embarrassingly came very close to sleeping on this brilliantly unhinged and raucous album, as most critically acclaimed rock music these days tends to underwhelm me.  Omaha's Nance is an entirely different story though, as Negative Boogie does a damn fine job recapturing the hostility and recklessness that made bands like Suicide and The Cramps so much cooler than everyone else.  Of course, Negative Boogie does not sound at all like either of those bands, but Nance's incandescent intensity and viscerally slashing guitars have a way of making even a Merle Haggard cover sound feral and frightening.

Last Updated on Sunday, 10 September 2017 13:27

Akira Rabelais, "Spellewauerynsherde"

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cover imageThis singular album was originally released back in 2004 on David Sylvian’s Samadhisound label, but Boomkat has just issued it on vinyl for the first time (along with quite a lot of accompanying praise about its status as an absolute masterpiece).  As curmudgeonly as I am, I have to agree–while the epic centerpiece of Spellewauerynsherde could probably benefit from somewhat sharper execution, these seven pieces cumulatively amount to quite a quietly staggering whole.  Rapturous beauty aside, Spellewauerynsherde is also quite a radical and inventive bit of sound art, as it was crafted entirely from feeding medieval choral music in Rabelais' self-designed Argeïphontes Lyre software, which seems to work by mutating, disintegrating, and recombining the source material.  Naturally, the sublime and unusual source material itself deserves a healthy amount of the credit for this album's timeless beauty, but Rabelais' transformative magic has unquestionably elevated it into something considerably more otherworldly and mysterious.

Last Updated on Saturday, 26 August 2017 18:44

Wolf Eyes, "Strange Days II"

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cover imageI am very much enjoying this new chapter of Wolf Eyes' career, as this second release on their Lower Floor imprint is every bit as deliciously wrong-sounding as Undertow, yet breaks some intriguing new ground.  The world is littered with iconic noise artists who flogged their one great idea to death and it is refreshing to see that John Olson, Nate Young, and James Baljo seem quite hellbent on avoiding that fate these days.  Granted, Strange Days II is only a lean 20-minute EP, but it is enough of a compelling detour to justify its existence despite that: it may be brief, but it is a complete and coherent statement.  As with most recent Wolf Eyes fare, it would be quite a stretch to call Strange Days II "noise," yet the trio definitely apply the genre’s tactics to unleash a corroded, thudding, and dystopian caricature of jazz (or at least a pleasingly gnarled twist on Zoviet France-style sci-fi tribalism).

Last Updated on Sunday, 27 August 2017 11:18

Ben Frost, "Threshold of Faith"

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cover imageLast summer, Ben Frost flew to Chicago to record with Steve Albini for two weeks, an engineer who certainly shares his appreciation for raw power.  It turned out to be quite a fruitful union, yielding roughly two hours of (presumably) explosive new material that will likely be surfacing for the next several months of the foreseeable future.  This EP is the first salvo from that stockpile of blown-out, impossibly dense speaker-shredders, acting as a bit of a teaser for a full-length due in late September.   As expected, Threshold of Faith absolutely erupts from the first notes, capturing Frost at the top of his gnarled, seismic game once again.  In fact, an EP seem to be the perfect format for Frost, as he is at his best when he shows up, unleashes a hellstorm of face-melting elemental force, then gets out before any numbness starts to set in.

Last Updated on Saturday, 26 August 2017 18:53

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