AMN Reviews

AMN Reviews: The Dead C – Rare Ravers (2019; Ba Da Bing Records)

Aotearoa’s greying heartthrobs, the Dead C, blast us off into the end times (aka 2019) with their latest long-playing petroleum slab, Rare Ravers, courtesy of Ba Da Bing.

The A-side grooves lead in to “Staver,” a 20-minute plunge into the depths of Dante’s rings o’ hell. Fear not, feeble mortal, Michael Morley, Robbie Yeats, and [Dr.] Bruce Russell ditch the edifying Italian humdrum and instead crank out the sonic panacea one so badly craves in this blustery modern epoch. The trio incant a spellbinding and dizzying mélange, that is sure to send you swiftly whirring into phaser-laden no-blues bliss. Just as the track starts to lull around the 18-minute mark,  there is a deee-licious metallic scrape, sure to send you into fits. This listener is unsure if it is our Kiwi protagonists dragging an iron-framed bookshelf across the shop floor or if one is hearing a bit of cymbal manipulation courtesy of Robbie Yeats. If it is the latter, this is one of the few (if only) instances of Yeats employing this particular extended technique with the Dead C – a refreshing piece of sonic craftsmanship, that it is indeed one of the highlights of the A-side. In truly antagonistic fashion, “Staver” does not ride off into the sunset, leaving you and your pop sensibilities with a snug and hearty sense of resolution, instead it abruptly ends, leaving you in the company of your stylus’ incessant picking at the run out groove.

The B-side opens with “Waver,” a two-minute piece that falls somewhere between kosmische and something that might appear on a meandering private-press country release. This brief penultimate tune – which wouldn’t be out of place on any of the Dead C’s more recent output –ends before its starts, fading surreptitiously into the album’s final track (admittedly, this listener listened to the B-side three times and it wasn’t until hearing the digital version of the release, with its clearly demarcated tracks, that it became apparent there were distinct cuts on the B-side of the record).

The album wraps up with “Laver” (an obvious theme here), another extended free noise canter which starts in trademark Dead C fashion: the playing is vacant, hypnotizing, and slyly non-committal. At approximately a quarter of the way through the piece, the trio’s sun-bleached sauntering takes a wild shift and is vaporized by an atomic blast of heavily-saturated distortion that crumbles out of the speakers. From the wreckage, the group rebuild in a similar mold, yet the playing possesses an equal degree of both trepidation and tenacity. Despite employing ye olde blunt cut to the end of the A-side, the group’s decision to again employ this technique at the terminus of Rare Ravers’  B-side remains jarring and unexpected.

This isn’t so much the soundtrack to the end times as it is the very blueprint. Fans of the Dead C, Siltbreeze devotees, doomsday prophets, and owners of the Faust back catalog are sure to find Rare Ravers a treat. Everyone else… well, you can wait for the twin suns to scorch your shadow into the pavement.

– J. Sebastien Ericsson Saheb


Musique Machine Reviews

From Musique Machine:

The Residents – The Ughs
‘The Ughs’ finds The Residents offer up an instrumental album that has a distinctive native American Indian & world music flavour to it, though of course fed through The Residents distinctive, slightly wonky & one- off take on sound making.

Mouthguts – III
The wonderfully named Mothguts are a four piece from New Jersey & Brooklyn who make a face slamming & horn honking mix of proton King Crimson like mettlics, galloping grind-cored & punchy hard core rock, searing jazz attacks & the odd dip into more atmospheric & sleazed jazz/ rock work-outs.

Jute Gyte – Subcon
As much as they may try to distinguish themselves, the obscure Jute Gyte clearly belongs to the recent wave of lo-fi “progressive” noise, a genre that blends various extreme electronic subgenres that perhaps all share a certain spirit.

Theme – Valentine (Lost) Forever
I have this thing against bothering with lousy copies of the original when the original is still alive, kicking and demanding very much to be heard on his/her/its own terms. Case in point: David Tibet and Current 93, who with Nature Unveiled and Dogs Blood Rising gave me creeps and unease of a kind that few others (save maybe his buddy Steve Stapleton) have been able to match.

Various Artists – Brick By Brick
‘Brick By Brick’ is an impressively presented, distinctive looking & sonically quality bound collection of Harsh Noise Wall material. The set offers up seven HNW artists who get a 3inch disc or twenty minutes worthy of space each.

Andreas Brandal – Blunt Force Trauma
‘Blunt Force Trauma’ finds the often noise bound & prolific Andreas Brandal( Flesh coffin, Hour Of The Wolf, Drevne Bolesti) in a slightly less noise & more horror fed harmonic state of sonic mind. Though there’s still a fair share of noise bound elements thrown towards you with-in here too; it just more atmospheric & harmonic bound in it’s intent then much of his work I’ve heard thus far.

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Musique Machine Reviews

From Musique Machine:

Striborg – Southwest Passage
‘Southwest Passage’ follows the trend of recent Stirborg albums in offering shorter, often more straight forward metallic, rock & blackly punked songs, with a distinctive wonky gothic edge. But don’t panic Sin Nanna hasn’t gone all grim ‘n’ roll on us or for that matter all fist shaking 80’s retro metallic either- this is still squarely a Stirborg album with all the bleak, wonky & blacked wonder we’ve come to expect from Sin Nanna.

Lonesummer – What We Were
‘What We Were’ is the first highly off-kilter, unhinged & noisy  avant- grade black metal release by Philadelphia based project Lonesummer, which sees the project throwing all manner of surprising stuff at you along with often clamouring drums & blacked grunts.

Alo Girl – Curettage
‘Curettage’ offers up two ten minute sides of pummelling & hammering, yet at times almost harmonically laced Harsh Wall Noise from Italian project Alo Girl(aka Cristiano Renzoni- runner of the excellent Urashima label & the other half of Richard Ramirez’s An Innocent Young Throat-Cutter).

Order of Nine Angels – The Abyss Is The Gate
Order of Nine Angels is a one man project from Georgia USA who stir-up an clamouring, heady & dread filled mixture of: ritual noise, jittering static, dread-filling electro simmers & general noisy lined occult tinged atmospherics.

Churner – Vulturistic
‘Vulturistic’ finds the ever versatile talents of Churner conjuring up one long track of atmospheric noise craft that’s best described as Sci-Fi noise drone matter meets power electronics elements.

Death In June – Braun Buch Zwei
‘Braun Buch Zwei’ was originally issued as part of the long out of print 20th Anniversary Stone Circle Edition of the classic Death In June album ‘Brown Book’. The disc features a fully re-mastered version of seven songs from the original ‘Brown Book’ album along with seven more remixed, re-recorded and rare versions of the remaining songs.

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Upcoming Detroit Shows

Paal Nilssen-Love
Image via Wikipedia

From the Bohemian in Exile:

Monday, Jan.25th: Frode Gjerstad/Paal Nilssen Love at 2739 Edwin

For more than 30 years, saxophonist/clarinetist Frode Gjerstadt has been a primary figure in the Norwegian improvised music scene. In the early years, he forced to play with musicians from other countries because he had no peers at home. As his international reputation grew, he helped to cultivate players back home. His ferocious sound has accompanied John Stevens, Peter Brotzmann, Evan Parker, Han Bennink, William Parker and Hamid Drake.

One fellow Norwegian who paid early dues with Gjerstad is drummer Paal Nilssen Love. Love is a frequent visitor to Detroit and his outstanding approach has been heard here in a variety of settings. Though he is firmly rooted in Europe’s free improvising scene, playing with The Thing and Sten Sandell, he also seems to have a second home in Chicago, where he can be found playing with Ken Vandermark and the Peter Brotzmann Chicago Tentet.

Doors at 8 pm; $10 recommended.

2/4 [project] transmit (german rock project with Nate McBride)
3/25 Han Bennink/Frode Gjerstad
4/1 Arborea

Coming in May: Tsigoti (prog/punk protest band featuring Thollem McDonas)

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For Gyan Riley, labels don’t apply

From the San Francisco Examiner:

The son of composer Terry Riley — whose seminal minimalist composition of 1964, “In C,” influenced the course of both classical and rock music — Gyan grew up in a household filled with a wide variety of sounds.

Surrounded by his father’s Indian music, contemporary classical music, ragtime, blues and jazz, Gyan — who plays solo Tuesday and with his band at Yoshi’s next week — initially moved in a classical direction, studying at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. As a result, when he later formed a jazz trio to play many of his own compositions, Gyan’s cohorts found themselves facing not your typical jazz charts but far more complex, written-out music that reflects a grounding in complex Western classical forms.

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Performances Reviews

In Brooklyn, Yesterday’s Avant-Garde as Today’s Durable Works

From, a review of recent Darmstadt shows.

Precious little linked most of the composers who participated in New Music, New York, a nine-evening concert series presented by the Kitchen in June 1979. Then located in SoHo, the Kitchen was a home for a wide range of musical doings: Fluxus happenings, the nascent Minimalism of Philip Glass and Steve Reich, experiments by rock refugees like Robert Fripp and performance artists in the process of defining themselves.

What New Music, New York provided for its disparate participants was a sense of unity and purpose, a rallying cry that proposed that the creative urges expressed at the Kitchen were worthy of the attention paid to “uptown” composers — modernists like Elliott Carter and Milton Babbitt — and worthy of critical evaluation and financial patronage too.

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Musique Machine Reviews

From Musique Machine:

Aluk Todolo – Finsternis
It’s seems like an eternity since occult & kraut-rock three piece Aluk Todolo justifiable raved about début album Descension appeared, but in reality it’s only two years- I guess it’s true what they say ‘absence makes the heart grow founder(or grimmer in this case)’. Anyway here is the bands second hypotonic blacked rock fruit in the shape of Finsternis.

Jason Kahn – Vanishing Point
Vanishing Point sees the welcome return of one of the great tension building improviser & artistic noise makers Jason Kahn who also ran the excellent tense improv label Cut which sadly closed its doors last year after a run of 25 near perfectly releases.

Klaus Schulze – La Vie Electronique 3
This is the third volume in the La Vie Electronique series of cd sets that brings together a selection of early tape material by electronica godfather and Space music /Kosmische Musik legend Klaus Schulze.

Klaus Schulze – La Vie Electronique 2
La Vie Electronique 2 is the second in the series of cd sets that brings together a selection of early tape material by electronica godfather and Space music /Kosmische Musik legend Klaus Schulze.

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Performances Reviews

Faust Performance in Albany Reviewed

Werner "Zappi" Diermaier with Faust ...
Image via Wikipedia

From the Albany Times Union:

The fact is that the concert was as much a ’60s art happening as it was a rock concert. Drummer and co-founding member Werner “Zappi” Diermaier spent some time banging away on a slab of sheet metal. Newer band recruits James Johnston (of Gallon Drunk and Nick Cave’s Bad Seeds) and his wife Geraldine Swayne switched off of guitar and keyboards, although Swayne was also Peron’s key foil on vocals. There were long interludes of sonic chaos and spoken word between such songs as “Miss Fortune” and “Jennifer,” the latter of which began with a touch of hippie flower power and turned dark as Diermaier took an electric sander to his sheet metal, sending sparks flying across the stage and nearly into the crowd.

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AMN Picks General

AMN Picks of the Week

Here is where I post, at a frequency of about once a week, a list of the new music that has caught my attention that week. All of the releases listed below I’ve heard for the first time this week and come recommended. Don’t take the categories too seriously.

Thank You – Terrible Two (2008, avant-instrumental)
Thank You – World City (2007, avant-instrumental)
Trespass Trio – …Was There to Illuminate the Night Sky (2009, free jazz)
Zorn, John – O’o (2009, avant-instrumental)
Led Bib – Sizewell Tea (2007, avant-jazz)
Quiet Orchestra – Quiet Orchestra (2007, modern mellow jazz / rock)

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Musique Machine Reviews

From Musique Machine:

Diamatregon – Crossroad
French black metal band Diamatregon make speedy and grim blacked metal with dips into blacked post-rock and punk edger’s along its way. The bands sound is both tied to the tradition of true black metal yet it’s progressive, it’s memorable yet never safe & experimental but never too much so. Crossroad is the bands third album and it’s a highly consistent, grimly memorable slice of blacked metal craft.

Thunderwheel – Credo
Thunderwheel is the new project from Vadim Gusis who is the sonic mastermind behind the wonderful Russian music meets ambient and folk of Agnivolok & respected ethic industrial ambient collective Chaos as a Shelter. And through Thunderwheel shows Gusis usual flair for varied and exotic instrumentation this is quite different sounding from either project.

Krga – Thousands
In two 3″ cdr’s we get to see two different sides of the Seattle-based musician Kgra, or Kristian Garrard. A nice little package, with nice music as well.

A Minority of One – Bathe in Fiery Answer
A Minority of One’s sound is very difficult to pin down, describe or put into any genre bracket, which in itself is reason alone to check them out. They mix up a very earthy, organic & often primal sound that often takes in percussive elements, natural based field recordings, droning horn work, dramatic male singing and drone textures.

Joris J – Fabrikation von Konsens
Fabrikation von Konsens(Production of Consent) offers up a very heady, dense and murky collection of lo-fi electronic mood scapes and dark electroinca that weave in elements of bent and cut piano music, aged soundtrack matter and general effective/ atmospherics noise texture. All to create a series of pieces that feel like they’ve come from some strange and bent nocturnal world just beyond our normal vision.

The Bad Statistics – Lucky Town Gone
The Bad Statistics make stumbling, droning and sleazed grange rock that’s rich with jagged discordant edger’s, haphazard sonic slumps and a rather appealing seedy atmosphere but the strangest and most unique element of the bands sound is the madden and manic vocals of lead singer Thebis Mutante; who gives one of the most unhinged and unbalance vocal performer I’ve ever heard.

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