Music Reviews



Artist: Locrian (@)
Title: Plague Journal
Format: 7"
Label: Bloodlust! (@)
Rated: *****
The label describes it thus: “Locrian's first appearance on vinyl sees the duo of Andre Foisy and Terence Hannum distilling their specific take on deconstructed metal trance music down to just over a dozen minutes of finely balanced, passive/aggressive, shimmering psychedelic drone; Includes locked-groove on B-side.”

So let’s go to the music. Side A consists of “Plague Journal,” which begins with some repetitive guitar. I have to admit that I didn’t find it terribly interesting until it began to get noisier as it went. However, it maintains the repetitive guitar throughout and ends on a lighter note. Side B consists of two tracks. “Apocryphal City” still has some repetition but this track was much more atmospheric. Static and crackles over a repetitive melody, but much more interesting than side A. It also gets progressively noisier while still maintaining the atmosphere. This track seems to have much more complexity. “Portents Fallen” is simply a locked groove that doesn’t really do much for me. This 7” comes in white vinyl packaged in a plain white sleeve. Limited to 300 copies.
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Artist: Aidan Baker (@)
Title: Gathering Blue
Format: 12"
Label: Equation Records (@)
Rated: *****
I was a bit surprised when I saw the track listing and wondered why I recognized “The Taste of Summer on Your Skin,” then realized that it had been previously released on Ta'lem Records. It seems that this is a mix of previous work with new material. The label describes the album thus: “Gathering Blue provides new original material plus a stunning cover of the Joy Division track ‘24 Hours’ as well as an extended work-out of the remix of ‘The Cicada Sings Our Love Song’ by Building Castles Out Of Matchsticks. We are also treated to a delicate revisiting of the Troum remix of ‘When You Scream’ - both of the aforementioned remixes were originally released in 2005 on the ultra-limited and long-deleted Arcolepsy Records CD ‘Remixes.’”

So let’s talk about the music. This is a double LP, which lets you know you are in for a long ride, but with Baker at the wheel you know that there will be beautiful scenery along the way. Side A consists of “Bond Of Blood,” which features the soothing drones that Baker is known for. At times his voice comes into the mix, but it doesn’t seem out of place, as sometimes happens with drone. Side B consists of Gathering Blue and 24 Hours, which is a Joy Division cover. At least he picked a more obscure one than “Love Will Tear Us Apart Again”! The closest comparison I can give is when Frazier Chorus did a cover of Anarchy in the UK. The result was oddly soothing in a way that Joy Division never was. Side C consists of “The Cicadas Sing Our Love Song / Cipher / Cicadas / Circuitry / Cicatrice” which all blend together into peaceful drone. My wife at this point commented on how much she was enjoying this album and she is not really a fan of experimental music. Side D takes a slightly different turn with “The Taste Of Summer On Your Skin / When You Scream...” which opens with a bit of drums and dissonance and even a touch of feedback. Here and there pulsing waves and buzzing crescendo and decrescendo throughout. It never gets really noisy, but a bit more dissonant than the other three sides. Overall, this is a very enjoyable release that demonstrates why Baker seems to be all over the place. Like all Equation Records releases, this is beautifully packaged in gatefold sleeve and pressed on 180 gram vinyl. This release comes in three different possibilities of vinyl: black, sky blue, and mottled peacock-blue.
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Artist: Corephallism (@)
Title: s/t
Format: 3" MiniCD
Label: Lascivious Aesthetics / Apop Records (@)
Most people in the Noise/Power Electronics scene have likely heard of Twodeadsluts Onegoodfuck. Now Shane Broderick, one member of that trio, is here with a solo project called Corephallism. And lest you think that this is a better name for a project, consider that a quick google search reveals that Corephallism is a “Rare term for anal sex with a young girl.” Here’s how the label describes the disc: “On this debut recording Mr. Broderick offers a brief glimpse into his struggle with personal demons of hereditary mental illness, sexual addiction and depression which serve as subject matter. Analog synth meditation, pulsing ambience, and bleak soundscapes lead to relentless monophonic buzz saw worship.” This is a three inch disc, so it is by definition short, but this was over almost too quickly, weighing in at a grand total of 7:31 for the two tracks. Both tracks are noisy, but it is not overly harsh. In fact, Speaking in Tongues, the first track, starts out almost like dark ambient before becoming diving into slowly pulsing noise waves. “These Scars Will Last a Lifetime” also begins with an ambient feel before kicking into noise. Although there is some underlying texture to it, the shifts are a bit too subtle for my taste. The track ends abruptly with what seems like silence, but really it is the sound of a female sobbing, recorded at a very low volume. Overall, not too bad for an intro to the project.
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Artist: Raxinasky
Title: The Anti-apopathodiaphulatophobicoustical Days
Format: CD
Label: Heart & Crossbones (@)
Rated: *****
I had not heard of this band from Belgium, but the press sheet that came with the disc promised “a sonic battlefield of nihilist prog-core, slanted death metal, deranged NO-WAVE and mutant grindcore revolts.” So far, so good. The disc is broken up into six “Anti-apopathodiaphulatophobicoustical Days.” On putting in the disc to Day 1, the first response is “Holy crap!” but in a good way. The disc starts off with screaming and noisy guitars and percussion. However, there is a kind of logic in the music, with rapid staccato starts and stops. Day 2 starts off a bit more mellow, but then kicks into freakout rock. There is screaming and fast moving guitar. If Sun Ra had a rock band, I imagine it would sound something like this. Day 3 is a 39 second mellow guitar solo that leads into Day 4, which follows a similar trajectory to Day 2, until it slides into a slow, mellow groove, then resumes into a spastic maelstrom of sound. Day 5 is a pleasant stripped down guitar piece which only lasts 2.19 before kicking into noisy guitars and percussion again on Day 6. The back and forth tension of harsh and mellow can work well, but in this album the mellow interludes are so short and fleeting as to seem almost out of place. The main problem with this disc is that it begins to all sound the same. The recommendations include the Flying Luttenbachers and Cephalic Carnage. I would also add Seven That Spells as a possible point of comparison.
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Artist: The Process Void (@)
Title: Staat Des Zerfalls
Format: CD
Label: Green Mutant Recordings
Rated: *****
The Process Void throws down some old school electro. Musically, the main comparison that comes to mind is Mentallo and the Fixer. One thing I like about this album is the atmosphere that runs throughout it. However, there are some downfalls. For example, on “Social Disease,” it seems that the band decided to throw in some bad goth vocals. I wondered, “When did Andrew Eldritch join this band?” “Viscious Circle” also suddenly drops the vocals an octave and decides to go death metal on us. But when they are good, they are amazing. I could not get “Death Warrant” out of my head for a week. That song alone made sure that the disc logged quite a few hours in my car stereo. “Skyro” is a nice instrumental track with a good beat and an interesting atmosphere and “Vacuum” continues with the same music, adding vocals. These tracks work well. So overall, the disc is a mixed bag. I get the sense that they would put on a pretty good live show, but it seems that they are still trying to find their sound. However, they seem to have gone on indefinite hiatus, according to their website.
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