Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Plague Mother - (2012) A Silent Exit CS

All 4 track names together with the album title conceptually shows in the direction of a rather brutal death experience. Bataille quote on the cover also adds to setting the right mood. The sound itself is rather nice and pleasant harsh noise. It's not chaotic; it moves quite slowly and is somewhat of a mix between static harsh noise wall and death industrial. For the bigger part of the album tough distorted noise with dominating low-mid frequencies comes from the speakers. A side starts with several sound layers that are slowly distorted more and more while transforms into unrecognizable sea of noise. The second track starts developing from nice and filthy metal clanging while you slowly drown in the soft distorted composition with timid synth notes, rhythmic rudiments and feedbacks silently appearing from the background. A side is truly nice realized in sense of sound and composition. B side kicks off from aggressive feedback and you are no longer taken into the track slowly. The sound is no longer pleasant statics and lifts towards the higher frequencies where the composing problems are being solved. The very last track, "Final Sighs" is the least interesting soundwisely. Synth notes are distorted to moments of absolute absence of sound that would be enjoyable for Richard Ramirez and co.

Plague Mother - (2014) Bones Of Regret CS

Three tracks of brooding, slow-moving harsh noise that focuses on minimal textures and feedback to create an incredible cycle of tension and release. PLAGUE MOTHER tracks evolve so skillfully that you often find yourself in the midst of a wall of noise, unaware of how you got there.

Plague Mother & Winter Ritual - (2014) Split CS

Both projects on this split bring their unique and gripping approach to the realm of heavy electronics. Winter Ritual takes a more focused, brooding approach over three movements - you don’t notice the air being taken from your lungs until the very end. Plague Mother never gives the listener the air to begin with, providing two pieces  of panic and paranoia.

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Teenage Panzerkorps - (2011) Kauf Nicht Von TPK CS

Kauf Nicht Von TPK is a collection of oddities from the Deutsche-Americanische punk outfit Teenage Panzerkorps. Spearheaded by San Franciscan out-rocker Glenn Donaldson, Der TPK sports a German giant of a vocalist in Bunker Wolf, plus grizzled American punks Jason Honea and Catholic Pat Toves. Their sound is one of a forgotten bleak punk as if belted from some shitty squat in the shadows of the Berlin Wall circa 1981. Not the Neue Deutsche Welle sound of synth-based crooners nor of the Geniale Dilletanten crowd of Neubauten, Sprung Aus Den Wolken, etc; but the very dirty and very pissed-off punk sound of a group that wouldn't ever consider recording on anything with higher quality than a second hand 4-track. Even knowing this about Der TPK, we were caught offguard by the trainwreck pace of the first few tracks, which crash through 4/4 rhythms as the jangling guitars and throbbing basslines struggle to keep pace. Even Bunker Wolf sounds like he's pitched up his baritone barking just a bit. These couple of numbers sound as if the turntable was set to 45 rpm when the record's supposed to spin at 33. The tracks tend to return to a more manageable pace throughout the rest of the album which is still quite brisk mind you, with cuts rarely exceeding the three minute mark. These dark-gritty punk numbers drone through guitar, bass, and drums with Bunker Wolf chanting his way through each of the tracks, rounded out by the aptly named "Degenerate Disco."

Teenage Panzerkorps - (2011) German Reggae CS

This confounding, transcontinental quartet has quite a punk / avant-rock pedigree. Edmund Xavier was born Glenn Donaldson, whose work within the forest-dwelling psychedelic collective Jewelled Antler spawned such projects as Thuja and the Blithe Sons, not to mention the paisley-pop project the Skygreen Leopards and Art Museums; and Boy True is the pseudonym for Jason Honea, who joined the leftist-punk band Social Unrest in the late '80s and Ten Bright Spikes in the '90s, before accompanying Donaldson and company on some of the more outre projects of Jewelled Antler. From the perspective of Jewelled Antler, the iconography of Teenage Panzerkorps makes a lot more sense, as a re-imagining of the childhood games playing with toy soldiers, where political and moral implications are lost within the wonder of play, all the while these childish ideals are smashed into the epiphany of hearing punk for the first time, with all of the social and political ramifications very much on the line. The Teutonic bark of vocalist Bunker Wolf and all of the militant iconography might give the impression of these guys being Nazi sympathizers, but this is hardly the case, as Der TPK's folding of symbols and metaphors is far more nuanced in its appropriation, pastiche, and parody.
German Reggae is album number four for Der TPK, and it exhibits some variation beyond the drone-punk propulsion which dominated their Games For Slaves and Nations Are Insane albums. Honea's basslines look back to the first couple of PiL records and Jah Wobble's thick punk-dub, and Bunker Wolf's delivery is a bit more understated, to which some have compared now to a Germanic Mark E. Smith. Even with these differences, Der TPK puts their collective head down for these propulsive, grimy post-punk numbers with plenty of references to the pre-Joy Division Warsaw recordings, Savage Republic, and Wire, not to mention contemporaries like The Soft Moon and Cult Of Youth.

Tereshkova - (2015) Pelagic CS

Vast in sound, ambiance, texture and melody. Dream pop seems as fitting a tag as any but the overall variety present in this work goes beyond that. A hazy pastoral romantic psychedelic sound guided by synths, guitars, and piles of effects that sits as close to being soundtrack as it does to being individual songs.

Silent Girlfriend - (2015) Backstabbing Female Supremacist CS

Sonically driving electronic dance oriented synth approach that hits heavy and hard with blown out flourishes of arpeggiated psychedelic electronica and plodding drugged out dungeon techno. Raw dystopian music with big heavy hooks with enough groove to move the warehouse dancefloor. 

Trailblazer - (2015) Guyonetics CS

Recorded in Treviso, Italy and has plenty of Euro synth sound for that information to add some flavor to the overall image of the release. Still present is the vibrant but minimal electronic Kraut rock sound of previous releases but perhaps refined a bit further is the sense of space in the music the minimalism refined to create subtlety developing tension and release that allows these tracks to breath and drift in an almost infinite combination of repetitions, music that feels like it could go on forever always turning back into itself recreating evolving and returning without becoming tiresome. 

David West - (2015) Drop Out Of Collage CS

Weird atmospheric washy tape and electronics experiments intersect with shimmering jangly post punk pop. The recording is really something special being concerned with a high level of detail in terms of the stereo sonic output. 

Moon Dice - (2015) My Motel Room CS

A new Melbourne AU quartet with connections to other long running bands Ancients and Love of Diagrams etc. Moon Dice are another excellent addition to the already great crop of Melbourne jangly rock and pop bands. Moon Dice have a distinctive sound built around soft vocals, subtle psychedelic guitar flourishes and driving but not heavy drumming.

Unhappybirthday - (2015) Kraken CS

From Wismar Germany and offer something very nice in their approach to minimalist synth pop/melodic post punk. They have that upbeat sad song thing going that always feels so good. We can't help but think if Jeurgen Gleue and the 39 Clocks had made soundtracks for those early John Hughes films this is what it might sound like.

VA - (2015) Blasting Voice 2xLP

Double LP compilation with 18 unreleased tracks from 17 artist.
Compiled by Ashland Mines aka Total Freedom. 
Exclusive tracks:
A1 Dentist - Stacks   
A2 Dutch E Germ - Becoming Chaina   
A3 Black Hearted Diamond Boy - Nigerian Hair   
A4 E+E - Elysian Dream   
A5 DJ Yung Tellem - Soundlink   
B1 Dane Chadwick - 1   
B2 Unknown Artist - Witches Sunset   
B3 Jaws - Plastic Cup   
C1 Massacooramaan - Zapotecan Foster Care   
C2 Ryan Trecartin - Horn-Sex   
C3 Felix Lee - National Grid   
C4 Nguzunguzu - Harp Bell   
C5 Gum-Shoe - Got Paid   
D1 TF - Beat To Death (Burned Copy)   
D2 Ryan Trecartin - Songerpa   
D3 Bodyguard - Black And Red   
D4 Eruption Team - One In A Million   
D5 Violence - The Idea Of It Is More Potent
300 pressed. 
So savage.

So, what’s happening now?

I just played a show the other night with my friend Why Be. We’ve done some stuff before, and we were talking about doing a remix for the first Night Slugs/Fade To Mind joint release. That’s planned for later this year. I really enjoy collaborating. Last year I put out a compilation with this punk label Teenage Teardrops. They wanted to do something outside of their normal game, and came to me because they thought I was some kind of voice in the dance music world—or the aspect of that world that they’re interested in anyway. We ended up releasing a double-LP called Blasting Voice. I took tracks from friends like Jaws, Massacoormaan, Diamond Black Hearted Boy… some old but a lot of new stuff too. As far as a dance record goes it’s a minor failure because there’s only like three songs that are danceable on it. A lot of it is more on the experimental side. It’s still a beautiful record, and it’s sold out anyway so don’t try to get it.