AMN Reviews: Arcana – Petrichor (2017; Cyclic Law)

Neoclassical dark wave music typically features ethereal and wordless vocals, heavy keyboard and string arrangements, as well as martial drumming. While influenced by medieval music, it uses modern electronic instrumentation. Think Dead Can Dance, but with less of an emphasis on singing.

Founded by Peter Bjärgö over 20 years ago, Arcana is one of the earlier examples of this genre. Petrichor is the group’s first release since 2012. Even though it is a compilation of music from the band’s EPs and singles, the album is still a solid representation of Arcana’s overall sound and feel – it does not stray far from well-anchored roots.

As an example, Part I-II-II, the longest track at 15 minutes, begins with deep synth drones and slow, haunting chants before a tribal drumbeat joins in. Blended male and female voices accompany a slow synth melody over this rhythm. Around the six-and-a-half minute mark, the track switches from the first part to the second, the latter featuring whispered vocals and subtle Middle-Eastern themes over bell-laden percussion. The third part includes complex repetitive drumming, more drones, breathy vocals, and prominent arpeggiated guitar chording.

The music of Arcana evokes something between the high fantasy, gothic, and horror genres. Sparse landscapes, ancient structures, and medieval atmospherics reign. Even if that isn’t your thing, there is a still a lot to like here. And though there are plenty of examples of neoclassical dark wave, Petrichor is not a bad place to start or to round out your exploration of the genre.


Fluid Radio Reviews

Via Fluid Radio.

Pepo Galán – Human Values Disappear

Stephan Mathieu – Radiance

Jozef Van Wissem – Nobody Living Can Ever Make Me Turn Back

Otto a Totland – The Lost

Olivia Block – Olivia Block

Joda Clément and Mathieu Ruhlmann – Kindred

Hellenica – Land of No Return

Isnaj Dui – Poiesis

Francis M. Gri – Fall and Flares

Bitchin Bajas – Bajas Fresh



November 17, 2017
Gato Libre, IBeam
Satoko Fujii Yasuko Kaneko Natsuki Tamura

November 18, 2017
Magda Mayas, Tony Buck, C. Spencer Yeh, IBeam
Tony Buck Magda Mayas C. Spencer Yeh

November 15, 2017
Loren Connors & Oren Ambarchi, ISSUE Project Room
Oren Ambarchi Loren Connors

November 12, 2017
Michael Foster Solo, H0L0
Michael Foster

November 12, 2017
Charmaine Lee & Zach Rowden, H0L0
Charmaine Lee Zach Rowden

November 12, 2017
Bill Nace & Brandon Lopez, H0L0
Brandon Lopez Bill Nace

November 4, 2017
Lucian Ban & Mat Maneri, Barbès

5049 Records Episode 139 – Randall Dunn

Via 5049 Records.

Randall Dunn is a musician, producer and sound engineer who for the past twenty years has been lending an utterly unique approach to the records of some of contemporary music’s most exciting artists. In addition to being the mastermind of Master Musicians of Bukkake, he’s worked closely with Eyvind Kang, Earth, Bill Frisell, Oren Ambarchi, Wolves in the Throne Room and was a major contributor to the Sunn O))) masterpiece “Monoliths and Dimensions”. He recently located to Brooklyn after two decades in Seattle and continues to stay active as a premiere sound alchemist.

Coming to Detroit

Via Detroit’s Trinosophes.

Saturday, Nov. 25: Out Demons Out! II with Bill Greenshields and Space Band, Detroit improvisers
2017 marks the 50th anniversary of the March on the Pentagon anti-war protest, which took place in October 1967 in Washington D.C. As part of the rally, a group of artists and activists organized an unusual event known as “Out Demons Out!” during which they attempted an exorcism of the Pentagon. They also sought, and received, official permission to levitate the building. Notably, filmmaker Kenneth Anger infiltrated the Pentagon and hid small totems in bathrooms stalls and inside offices.

12/2: NOW! (Alex Harding, Vincent Chandler, Leonard King, Rocco Popielarski)

12/6: Larry Oches/Nels Cline/Gerald Cleaver Trio.

12/8: Shells record release show with Bonny Doon, Kathy Leisen (solo)

12/9: James Cornish/Joel Peterson/Abby Alwin,/Sara Grosky, Betsy Soukup/Ben Willis

A Walk Through Buckethead’s Massive Bandcamp Catalogue

English: Buckethead in concert at Neumos in Se...

Via Bandcamp Daily.

Buckethead has one of the most unique careers—and personas—in the history of rock music. Over the course of the last 25 years, the enigmatic guitarist has operated in paradox, working with high-profile names like Guns N’ Roses, Bootsy Collins, and Serj Tankian, while still managing to maintain a shadowy aura. But for all of his marquee collaborations, Buckethead’s true magic lies in his solo performances, where he decorates the stage with small statues and plays scenes from Japanese animated videos behind him.

He also flat-out shreds on the guitar, peeling off licks while wearing a Michael Myers mask and an upside-down KFC chicken bucket labeled “funeral.” At every show, there’s an intermission where the 6’6” guitarist demonstrates his skill with nunchucks, and passes out toys to the crowd. He generally follows that by playing the theme songs for Mighty Morphin Power Rangers and Star Wars.

In addition to his already storied career, Buckethead has constructed his own imaginary theme park, called Bucketheadland, in Claremont, California. His debut album of the same name provided a virtual walking tour of the park during its “construction.” Fast forward to today, where not only is his fictitious park “up and functioning,” he’s added 272 kiosks that each carry an album, according to his website. In other words, since 2011, Buckethead has released a whopping 272 “real” albums for his made-up theme park.