Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Ever Heard of Terminal Mind?

I guess it's not uncommon to begin a new year by taking a good, hard look back. Introspection can be a positive thing, especially if, upon assessing the current musical climate, one believes there to be a need to reintroduce what's been unfortunately forgotten. Super Secret Records saw fit to start off 2018 by putting out a compilation of long sought after material from the Austin, Texas punk act, Terminal Mind, whose art-infused interpretation of the punk medium found permanence, albeit obscure and rare, as a 4-song 7." These tracks now appear alongside previously unreleased live and studio tracks, so there's no longer any need to go online, scanning through the wares of virtual merchants seeking to rob you of every hard-earned dollar.

Having given the album a listen, which is simply titled Recordings, I thought there were aspects of Terminal Mind's sound that shared some commonalities with the Boston area hardcore and indie rock scenes of the early to mid-80s despite predating TAANG's initial spate of releases and, of course, Mission Of Burma. The lead single, "Refugee," was premiered by the Austin Chronicle, but you can also listen to it below:



As mentioned, Recordings will be released by Super Secret Records. Release date is 1.19. All info on the release was provided by Us/Them Group.

Terminal Mind premiere track from forthcoming retrospective Recordings

Extremely rare collectors' fave 7", Live at Raul's compilation cuts and unreleased studio & live tracks from Austin first wave punk trio

"Grayscale art-rock with punk desperation channeled through instrumental and songwriting legitimacy...Terminal Mind remains an act locals still celebrate despite a short lifespan and being under-recorded." — Austin Chronicle

First-wave Austin, TX punk trio Terminal Mind premiere the first track from their forthcoming retrospective album today via Austin Chronicle. Recordings collects the short lived band's 4-song 7" (which fetches upwards of $100 on eBay), Live At Raul's compilation cuts and outstanding unreleased studio and live recordings.

Terminal Mind, formed in 1978, was one of the early first-wave punk acts in Austin, TX. Based far from the urban roots of a genre in its earliest stages, the band absorbed influences as disparate as Pere Ubu, Roxy Music, John Cale, and Wire. The life span was short, but their influence touched many of the next generation of Texas noise and hardcore acts as they shared bills with fellow proto-punks The Huns and Standing Waves at Raul's, The Big Boys on the UT campus, and even opened for Iggy Pop at the Armadillo World Headquarters.
Founding members Steve Marsh and the Murray Brothers, Doug and Greg, started as a trio before adding synthesizer player Jack Crow. Steve Marsh moved to New York with his experimental noise band Miracle Room (before eventually returning to Austin and forming space/psychedelic rock band Evil Triplet and beginning an experimental solo project dubbed Radarcave), while Doug Murray joined the Skunks and Greg Murray played in a later version of The Big Boys. Jack Crow passed away in 1994.

This collection of songs is a journey back to the 'anything goes' first steps of American punk as it left the dirty streets of New York and Los Angeles and made its way into the heartland. Like the Austin of 1978,
Recordings is a small outpost of musical individualism that planted seeds for the alternative music explosion familiar to later generations.

Recordings will be available on LP, CD and download on January 19th, 2018 via Sonic Surgery Records.


Artist: Terminal Mind
Album: Recordings
Label: Sonic Surgery Records

Release Date: January 19, 2018

01. I Want to Die Young
02. Refugee
03. Sense of Rhythm
04. Zombieland
05. Obsessed With Crime
06. Fear In the Future
07. Radioactive
08. Bridges Are For Burning
09. (I Give Up On) Human Rights
10. Black
11. Missing Pieces
12. Bureaucracy

On The Web:
supersecretrecords.com/bands/terminal-mind


Sincerely,
Letters From A Tapehead

Monday, January 08, 2018

Oh, 2017... Where Have You Gone?

It’s been 2018 for a week now. The intensity of the Holidays often leaves very little time for me to reflect on the prior year or get my list of favorite albums posted before everyone's touching champagne glasses in honor of the next 365 days, so hopefully you won't have any difficulty ingesting yet another one of these. I'm at least far enough away from mid-December's EOY onslaught that maybe you've had time to breathe before giving this list a gander. Or, maybe it's an irrelevant list at this point and I'm wasting my time. Either way, let's talk 2017:

For the annual "Omissions & Lamentations" category, probably my biggest, most venial sin was not checking out Mount Eerie’s A Crow Looked At Me, which was Phil Elverum’s conceptual tribute to his recently deceased wife, Geneviève Castrée (Ô PAON). Sometimes, with the amount of music that hits my inbox over the course of the year, the obvious or essential records wind up being pushed off. The same thing happened with the last METZ release, Strange Peace, Hiss Spun by Chelsea Wolfe, Thundercat’s Drunk and that self-titled LP from Ty Segall. Oh, and Wire put out Silver/Lead. I think if I can say anything about 2017, it’s that I was apparently a neglectful fan.

There were also a handful of artists that I didn’t get to check out, namely SZA, Sampha, the latest Oddisee LP, The Iceberg, World Eater by Blanck Mass, Laura Marling, Narkopop by GAS and two Stones Throw acts I heard a couple tracks from, The Stoeples and Sudan Archives.

I also missed comeback releases from Gorillaz (though the couple songs I heard didn’t really grab me), At the Drive-In, Slowdive, and Ride.

I did, however, make a strong, albeit unnecessary and misguided, attempt to better acquaint myself with the so-called Soundcloud/mumble rappers that had releases this year. I checked out Lil Uzi Vert’s Luv Is Rage 1.5, which I really hated. Young Thug’s Beautiful Thugger Girls, which sounded to me like a less interesting facsimile of every folky Wyclef song. Its inclusion of acoustic instruments doesn’t make it unique or daring. I also tried to sit through Lil Peep’s Come Over When You’re Sober, Pt. 1. In light of his death via overdose, I wanted to check out his one and only album. I wish I could say I liked it.

As for disappointments, Villains, Queens of the Stone Age’s follow up to 2013’s excellent …Like Clockwork, was producer Mark Ronson’s lightweight attempt at figuring out how rock n’ roll works. My concern with Ronson’s involvement was validated by that first single, “The Way You Used to Do,” easily the most comically saccharine track QOTSA has ever produced. Ronson excels at pastiche, his talents limited to repackaging Motown and Prince for modern audiences. I can credit Ronson with diluting one of my favorite bands of all time, but Josh Homme phoned this one in as well. Mediocre to say the least.

Kendrick Lamar’s DAMN didn’t quite resonate despite containing two of the best singles I heard this year, "DNA" and "Humble." Japandroid’s over-anthemic, Near to the Wild Heart of Life, was my least favorite album of the year and Mark Lanegan’s Gargoyle was pretty forgettable as well.

As for losses, 2017 took Chuck Berry, Gregg Allman, Hüsker Dü’s Grant Hart, Steely Dan’s Walter Becker, and AC/DC’s Malcolm Young. 2017 also took Fats Domino, Tom Petty, Charles Bradley, David Cassidy, The SmithereensPat DiNizio, Johnny Hallyday, Jessi Zazu, Glen Campbell, drummer Clyde Stubblefield, and Al Jarreau. Soundgarden’s Chris Cornell and Linkin Park’s Chester Bennington both tragically took their own lives.  

Anyway, without further unnecessary commentary from me, here's the list:

15). Here Lies Mans/t (RidingEasy Records)



14). Run the JewelsRTJ3 (Run the Jewels, Inc.)



13). Uniform Wake In Fright (Sacred Bones Records)

"While I wouldn’t put Uniform’s brand of anxiety and the discomfort they generate to the level of labelmate Pharmakon, an artist of similarly dark and mechanized persuasion, Uniform’s American nightmare is relatable and honest, revealing the dangers of dependency, the want of escape, and the problematic effects one can experience while trying to end that bond. One can’t say that there’s hope within the contents of Wake in Fright, (one might even say it’s a tad overwrought), but it’s a story worth telling nonetheless." — 1.26.17

12). Taiwan Housing ProjectVeblen Death Mask (Kill Rock Stars)

“The music is frantic, abrasive, and strange. But rock and good sense are both dead, so there’s no real excuse to keep the art form relegated to nostalgia. Nor is there any excuse to settle for less than what this album has to offer." – 7.31.17


11). Pissed JeansWhy Love Now (Sub Pop)

"Why Love Now is the fifth album by (Pissed) Jeans. It’s loud and heavy. And it has the best song names." – 8.9.17



10). Tyler, The Creator Scum Fuck Flower Boy (Columbia)




9). UlverThe Assassination of Julius Caesar (House of Mythology)

"It was with a heavy and resolute stride, synthesized embellishments softening the brunt of its initial push, that Ulver’s 2017 release, The Assassination of Julius Caesar, was announced. Its lead single, 'Nemoralia,' sounded as determined as it did hypnotic, vocalist Kristoffer Rygg offering an impassioned performance overtop a soundscape boldly comprised of electronics and hooks. The single summed up Ulver’s 13th release perfectly, The Assassination of Julius Caesar, proudly being dubbed 'their pop album,' though not as a means of connection with trends. With reverence to the synth-pop of yore and Ulver’s already adept command of the darker side of things, the group revels in the opportunity to sound sleek and melodic, reaching levels of excellence with the infectious and catchy (yes, catchy!) 'Rolling Stone,' the tonal gloom of 'So Falls the World' and the beautifully harmonized '1969.'" – transcribed from No Ripcord's Top Albums of 2017

8). Irreversible Entanglementss/t (International Anthem Recording Co. / Don Giovanni)

"In the tradition of We Insist! from Max Roach’s Freedom Now Suite, Gil Scott-Heron’s Small Talk at 125th and Lenox, or Archie Shepp’s The Magic of Ju Ju, Irreversible Entanglements’ self-titled debut evokes the era of Civil Rights informed protest jazz, the often explosive, free flowing combination of sound and commentary a stinging, unapologetic, and impressionable musical statement. Led by poet Camae Ayewa (a.k.a., Moor Mother), Irreversible Entanglements’ mode of conveyance is handled with an appropriate and necessary amount of chaos, improvised storms of snare and hi-hat generating unease throughout 'Chicago to Texas' and an Albert Ayler-sized pairing of brass announcing frantically the opening of 'Enough.'" – 10.12.17

7). Hey ColossusThe Guillotine (Rocket Recordings)

"Albini-level sonic tumult can make a compelling case by itself with or without a song’s lyrical intent. And if said tumult offends? Well, you were likely its target. As the tilted and persistent rhythm of 'Back in the Room' exhibits well Neu!'s belief in listener immersion through repetition, Hey Colossus, the noise-oriented rock unit responsible for the battery being addressed, also revel in the perverted evangelistic tone of The Jesus Lizard. An attack on the senses? Only if you’re the target. The Guillotine, latest LP and third Hey Colossus release for Rocket Recordings, is an eight-song trove of volume, emotional density, and social critique, its commonalities with sounds cultivated by labels like Touch & Go and Amphetamine Reptile not so much evidentiary of retread as they are respectful and refreshing pulls from an era of dissonant rock plentitude." – 6.29.17

6). Parlor WallsOpposites (Northern Spy Records)

"Throughout the length of Opposites, Parlor Walls recalibrates NYC Fringe while borrowing its convulsive free jazz cues from The Pop Group, the results a wiry, jazz-infused, often dissonant and fascinating work of art pop that recalls the creative angularity of early Blonde Redhead and the most abrasive aspects of Mars, DNA, and Sonic Youth. As a vocalist, (Alyse) Lamb exudes a delicate balance of vulnerability and angst, her demeanor liable to swing any which way the music requires, a corresponding melodic sensibility often giving way to more aggressive and abstract reactions." – 4.27.17

5). Guerilla TossGT Ultra (DFA Records)




4). Circuit des YeuxReaching for Indigo (Drag City)

"'Brainshift came like a tidal wave…,' a haunting note is held in place as Circuit des Yeux - the creative moniker worn by composer Haley Fohr - introduces Reaching for Indigo with this verse. A patient opener to the fifth Circuit des Yeux album, 'Brainshift' could be taken as an overture, the ensuing and slow realization of this ensemble-level effort taking effect at about halfway through the following track, 'Black Fly,' whose acoustic strings are plucked and bowed in an arrangement so lush, it demands a second or third listen almost immediately. The same can be said for the rest of this album. With a deep level of orchestration added to what is essentially a folk record, Reaching for Indigo is a stunning work, Fohr adroitly building anticipation ('Philo'), splicing together sounds that seem completely at odds ('Paper Bag') and conjuring tones both melancholic and heavenly ('Falling Blonde'). Was Circuit des Yeux’s Reaching for Indigo the most objectively beautiful release of 2017? If not, first place couldn’t have been too distant." – transcribed from No Ripcord's Top Albums of 2017

3). AlgiersThe Underside of Power (Matador)

"Merging this bitter pill of our political and social reality with a tent revivalist’s understanding of how post-punk works, Algiers’ excellent second LP, The Underside of Power, considered both the message and its package. With commentary relevant to the age, Algiers navigates 'left of the dial' while capitalizing on gospel’s intent to awaken souls, the results thrilling, distinct and powerful. Producing what was one of the more striking singles of the year with 'Cleveland,' the city’s name used as reference to the senseless murder of 12-year old Tamir Rice at the hands of the police in 2014, The Underside of Power casts stones at formidable opponents: fascism ('Death March'), apathy ('Hymn for an Average Man') and the current occupant of the White House ('Animals'). Still, even if the view isn’t always uplifting, Algiers never burden listeners with cynicism or a sense of inevitable defeat." – transcribed from No Ripcord's Top Albums of 2017

2). Oh SeesOrc (Castle Face)



1). Protomartyr — Relatives in Descent (Domino Recording Company)

"Relatives in Descent is Protomartyr’s fourth LP, and first for Domino Recording Company. With a sound that maintains relevancy in the modern age as the band keeps true to a form that’s existed thirty-plus years, Protomartyr’s Detroit Rock interpretation of post-punk seems to gain something with every album they produce, a sensibility that’s somehow detectible but difficult to define or pinpoint. With entrancing drum patterns and minimalist-to-maximalist guitar phrasing as his backdrop, Casey’s poetic declarations, delivered as if channeling The Fall’s Mark E. Smith or Let Love In-era Nick Cave, are serious without being forceful, at times off rhythm though not in a distracting way." – 9.29.17

And, here are my follow ups:

16). Damaged BugBunker Funk

17). Tera MelosTrash Generator

18). SpectresCondition

19). The Body & Full of HellAscending a Mountain of Heavy Light

20). Six Organs of AdmittanceBurning the Threshold

21). Once & Future Bands/t

22). Arto LindsayCuidado Madame

23). I Like to SleepBedmonster

24). MastodonEmperor of Sand

25). WandPlum

26). Gold DimeNerves

27). L’Rains/t

28). Dead Crosss/t

29). UnsaneSterilize

30). Kendrick LamarDAMN.

31). BjörkUtopia

32). BorisDear

33). PharmakonContact

34). DälekEndangered Species

35). Humans EtceteraIntelligent Skeleton

36). Unearthly TranceStalking the Ghost

37). SaltlandA Common Truth

38). Richard Pinhas Reverse

39). SwanseaFlaws

40). Lawrence EnglishCruel Optimism

41). Earthen SeaAn Act of Love

42). Melvins A Walk with Love & Death

43). Queens of the Stone Age Villains

44). Deerhoof Mountain Moves

45). Mark Lanegan BandGargoyle

46). Japandroids Near to the Wild Heart of Life


Singles & EPs:

1). Laces Outs/t

2). Ty Segall Sentimental Goblin

3). Petridisch A Fixed Point

4). Jarboe & Father Murphy — Jarboe & Father Murphy EP 

5). ChewA Fine Accoutrement

6). Terence HannumImpiety

7). Channels — "BACKPFEIFENGESICHT" B/W "AIRSTRIP ONE"

8). Sadaf Shell

9). OozepusYour Limit

10). Snares of Sixes Yeast Mother: An Electroacoustic Mass

Sincerely,
Letters From A Tapehead
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Thursday, December 21, 2017

12.21 — Happy Birthday, Frank

77 candles...

As the occasion demands, there will be nothing but Frank Zappa piping through every speaker today.  200 Motels was an interesting pick for a morning listen.  



Sincerely,
Letters From A Tapehead

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

TRAX! — M.E.S.H., Tag Cloud, Sinister Bodies of Water, Endorphins Lost

M.E.S.H.: "Search. Reveal" (via Julian T. Schoen/Noisey/Vimeo)

"Search. Reveal" is featured on Hesaitix, which you can purchase now at PAN.


M.E.S.H. - Search. Reveal. (PAN) from PAN on Vimeo.

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Tag Cloud: "Measured Mile" (via Verses Records/YouTube)

Tag Cloud's Pattern Recognition EP was released, 12.8.17.  If you like their single, "Measured Mile," the EP is available for purchase from Verses Records. 



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Sinister Bodies of Water: "When the Knife Falls" (via Out of Sound/CVLT Nation/YouTube)

Sinister Bodies of Water is releasing When the Knife Calls on 12.21.17 via Out of Sound Records.  It doesn't look like the album is up for pre-order, but here's the Bandcamp link


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Endorphins Lost: "Mercy For One" (via Earsplit PR/Bandcamp)

Via Earsplit PR:

Seattle-based ENDORPHINS LOST announces an impending split 7" with OSK set for release in February, which will be supported by a Western US tour in March.

ENDORPHINS LOST released their debut LP,
Choose Your Way, through Six Weeks Records in November 2016, unabashedly introducing the masses to their blistering style of metallic, grinding, crust/powerviolence. The band will now stomp a fresh dose of salt into the wounds inflicted by their debut with four scathing new tracks, sharing a slab of 7" vinyl with their allies in Canadian grind/hardcore outfit OSK who add three tracks to the flipside. The ENDORPHINS LOST tracks were recorded in March 2017 by Mike at Soundhouse Studios in Seattle, Washington, with additional vocals recorded by Dylan Ludwig at Raven Sound Studio in Prescott, Arizona, and mixed and mastered by Greg Wilkinson at Earhammer Studio in Oakland, California. The OSK tracks were recorded, mixed, and mastered by Jesse Gander at Hive Studios in Vancouver, British Columbia in the spring of 2013.

The ENDORPHINS LOST/OSK split will see release on February 1st through a coalition of underground labels, Rotten To The Core Records, Delusions Of Terror Records, Agromosh Records, You All Die Records, and New Age Pyrate Punks Records.



Sincerely,
Letters From A Tapehead

Sunday, December 10, 2017

What's (Re)New: Dub Syndicate Ambience In Dub 1982-1985

On November 10th, On U-Sound, the creative outlet and seminal dub label run by producer Adrian Sherwood, reissued some early releases and a compilation of unreleased tracks from Sherwood’s own project, Dub Syndicate.  Following the short-lived but seismic effect punk rock enjoyed in 1977, the need to expand upon the music’s creative and cultural reach bore a period of musical output that harnessed not only the primal aspects of punk rock music, but also pulled from many genres: funk, disco, jazz, and reggae.  Sherwood, himself a fanatical devotee of reggae music, acted as a small-time distributor of dub singles before growing into a curator of sorts, performing in multiple groups, producing acts, and eventually launching the On U-Sound label, through which he was able to not only pursue his own musical endeavors but to provide a platform for other artists.  With that said, Dub Syndicate, which would later develop into a creative partnership between Sherwood and drummer Style Scott, released four albums from 1981 to 1985:  The Pounding System, One Way System, North of the River Thames, and Tunes from the Missing Channel.  In addition to the reissues, which will be out on vinyl and as a CD collection called, Ambience In Dub 1982 – 1985, the aforementioned collection of unreleased tracks will be issued as an LP titled, Displaced Masters. 


As a newcomer to Dub Syndicate, I’ve navigated my way through these LPs over the last week or two and have attempted to distill as much of what’s unique track-by-track as I could.  Dub reggae has a resting pulse, a signature stride.  The rhythm is an anchor, though the floating sonic explorations enabled by both the group’s rotating lineup and advancements in studio technology grant this chronology context as far as how Sherwood and Scott both evolved artistically.  The performances sound refreshingly spontaneous, as if ideas were juggled and conversations never ceased.  Plus, Sherwood wasn’t shy about drawing elements from what was then a burgeoning post-punk scene into his brand of dub music.  The rambunctious sections of drum work scattered throughout “Pounding Systems,” which introduces 1982’s The Pounding System, were enough to convince me that post-punk’s notable inclusivity among genres, not to mention the way these genres seemed to be informing various offshoots at a time when studio capabilities were fueling musical possibilities, was beneficial and not in any way meant to appropriate a culture so much as to widen musical perspectives, potentially merge worlds, and engage artists.   



The fact that Style Scott, whose involvement with Dub Syndicate begins during the development of 1983’s One Way System, was a long-distance collaborator with Sherwood speaks to some level of respect and trust between artists.  For this series of reissues, One Way System will be available for the first time as a vinyl LP, having only ever been released as a cassette via ROIR, the label that’s probably best known for releasing Bad Brains’ self-titled debut.  Speaking to the level of experimentation and genre-bending of its predecessor, check out the staggering rhythm arrangement of “Drilling Equipment” and the saxophone-driven jazz lean of “Independence.”









For 1984’s North of the River Thames, Dub Syndicate shared credit with melodica player, Doctor Pablo (Peter Stroud), whose name was chosen as homage to the man who’d mastered his instrument, Augustus Pablo.  With his melodica providing the album its primary and unifying musical element, Doctor Pablo also contributed some of his own songs, two of which were apparently based on original works that Congo Ashanti Roy had performed with both The Congos and Singers & Players respectively.  These tracks were sequenced with dub-centric interpretations of The Shadows’ “Man of Mystery,” the theme from “Dr. Who,” and a melancholic rendition of the Ric Marlow and Bobby Scott composition, “A Taste of Honey,” which I know best as a Beatles cover.


As an early document on what was then-budding sample culture, 1985’s Tunes from the Missing Channel is a fascinating work and the most objectively modern release of this collection.  Featuring contributions from ex-Public Image Ltd. members Jah Wobble and Keith Levene, singer Bim Sherman, and composer Steve Beresford, (not to mention members of On-U Sound acts African Head Charge and Creation Rebel), Tunes from the Missing Channel was developed in conjunction with the availability of new studio technology, enabling Sherwood and keyboardist and On-U co-founder Kishi Yamamoto to craft and adorn the Dub Syndicate motif with new sounds.  The revving and echoing motor and beautifully rendered sitar melodies incorporated into the album’s opening track, “Ravi Shankar (Pt. 1),” offer evidence of this immediately with “The Show is Coming” following up with vocal loops/samples and chunky, cutting bass riffs performed by Evar Wellington juxtaposed with the track’s otherwise slick production.  Jah Wobble’s synthesizer-driven “Over Board” could have easily scored any horror or sci-fi film of the era, its sound seeming to nod in the direction of John Carpenter or Goblin.  Bim Sherman provides vocals for the only sung composition on the album “Forever More,” a playful array of filters applied to the track’s percussion. 


With Scott assuming more of a lead role in Dub Syndicate, the group continued to release albums well into the 2000s.  Scott was unfortunately murdered on October 9th, 2014. 

While every volume of this collection is worth investigating, Displaced Masters isn’t a bad place for a novice to begin.  Itself comprised of early takes and unreleased cuts, Displaced Masters offers enough of an overview to incentivize the need for further exploration.  It’s a worthwhile footnote.  It’s certainly not bad for the ears.  

Sincerely,

Letters From A Tapehead

Thursday, December 07, 2017

Insect Ark: "In The Nest"

Some Earth-centric dirt-encrusted trudge for your day… 

It was announced that Insect Ark, now functioning as a two-person collaboration between one-time sole insect Dana Schechter and drummer Ashley Spungin, will be releasing a new album in early 2018 titled Marrow Hymns.  The lead single, "In The Nest," bakes and blisters as if charred by intense heat, its movement dramatic as if fighting against some external elements at odds with progress.  Anticipation is high with this one.  

Words regarding other Insect Ark projects:
Marrow Hymns is scheduled to release 2.23.18 via Profound Lore Records.  Music, links, and info were provided by Earplit PR.


INSECT ARK: Atmospheric Noise/Doom Duo To Release Marrow Hymns Via Profound Lore This February; New Track Streaming

Combining elements of horror-film soundtracks, psychedelic doom, and atmospheric noise, New York City/Portland-based instrumental duo INSECT ARK presents their newest record, Marrow Hymns, to be released on Profound Lore Records, February 23rd, 2018.

Comprised of Dana Schechter (
M. Gira's Angels Of Light, Wrekmeister Harmonies, Zeal & Ardor, Gnaw) and Ashley Spungin (Taurus, Purple Rhinestone Eagle, Negative Queen), INSECT ARK's intensely visual music weaves interludes of fragile beauty with crushing passages of swirling doom, spinning like a backwards fever dream. Marrow Hymns is a wordless song, a hypnotic voice that screams and whispers from a place deep in the furrows, from the bones, from the blood. Defying easy categorization, INSECT ARK's uncommon sound is in part the amalgamation of these two women's passions: Schechter's sinister bass lines and unconventional use of lap steel guitar (and her complete omission of electric guitar), and Spungin's lucid, exacting drumming and synth work with her own hand-built analog noise pedals (Ormus Electronics).

Schechter describes INSECT ARK as being a voice when words fail to articulate emotions or experiences, a visceral form of communication through sonic submersion. The cathartic nature of the music INSECT ARK creates is a document of life's many complex facets - perseverance and presence, chaos and meditation, birth and decay, brutality and delicacy, and of hope in the unknown.

Marrow Hymns was recorded and mixed with engineer Ethan Donaldson at Mozart Street Studios in Brooklyn, New York over the course of eighteen months. With the two halves of INSECT ARK residing on opposite coasts, the album was largely skeletal in form upon commencement of recording. Overdubs and further writing/arrangements were done after Spungin's return to Portland in the isolation of Schechter's home studio. The sense of distance and vast emptiness remained intact in the songs, built out over many long nights. Marrow Hymns' song themes of displacement, loss, and isolation are personal journals of that time period, as both members found themselves simultaneously experiencing existential crises. However, the album also tells a story of strength and determination, made from the marrow of these two women, a song for all things that struggle to survive.

Marrow Hymns will be available on CD, vinyl, and digital formats. Preorders to be unveiled in the coming weeks. In the meantime, sample the disquieting sounds of "In the Nest" at THIS LOCATION.

Marrow Hymns Track Listing:
1. Thelema
2. Arp 9
3. In the Nest
4. Skin Walker
5. Slow Ray
6. Sea Harps
7. Tarnish
8. Windless
9. Daath

Formed in 2011 by Schechter as a solo project, from its inception INSECT ARK has been about creating work that transports, both physically and psychologically. Spungin joined in 2015 for touring support of
Portal/Well, and over the next year, INSECT ARK became something much greater than the sum of its parts. Both women have roots firmly in making work with no borders - they are DIY makers, multi-instrumentalists, gearheads, and visual artists. Spungin studies live sound, studio recording, programming, and analog electronics; Schechter composes music for film and is a video maker/animator for film/TV. A full-length video counterpart for live shows is to come shortly, integrating sound and visuals to build immersive sonic landscapes that echo in the empty spaces where the earth divides, offering the listener - and the band themselves - utter sensory submersion.

INSECT ARK Is:
Dana Schechter - bass, lap steel guitar, synthesizers
Ashley Spungin - drums, synthesizers

INSECT ARK Discography:
Portal/Well, 12" Vinyl (2017, Sleeping Giant Glossolalia Records)
Long Arms/Maria w/ Horn Split CS (2016, XKatedral Records)
Portal/Well, CD/CS (2015, Autumnsongs Records / Geweih Ritual Documents)
Windless, 7" Lathe (2015, Utech Records)
Long Arms, 10" Vinyl EP (2013, Geweih Ritual Documents)
Collapsar 7", (2012, Lancashire & Somerset Records)

http://www.insectark.com
http://www.facebook.com/InsectArk
http://www.insectark.bandcamp.com
http://www.profoundlorerecords.com
http://www.facebook.com/profoundlorerecords
http://www.profoundlorerecords.bandcamp.com

Sincerely,
Letters From A Tapehead

Wednesday, December 06, 2017

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

TRAX! — Quicksilver Daydream, Anenon, Rosehardt, Here Lies Man, On The Wane, Amenra, Godflesh, Big City Cough, Lavender Child

Quicksilver Daydream: "Ferryman" (via Tell All Your Friends PR/The 405/Soundcloud)

"Ferryman" will be featured in an upcoming 5-song EP from Quicksilver Daydream titled, A Thousand Shadows, A Single Flame, which will release February 9th, 2018.  The EP is up for pre-order from Quicksilver Daydream's Bandcamp.



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Anenon: "Verso" (via Friends of Friends/Terrorbird Media/Soundcloud)

"Verso" is the first single from Anenon's new album, Tongue, which will be releasing on Feburary 5th.  The album can be pre-ordered at Anenon's Bandcamp.

A review of Anenon's 2016 release, Petrol, can be found here.


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Rosehardt: "Bad Song" (via Styles Upon Styles/Julian T. Schoen/High Snobiety/Soundcloud)

"Bad Song" is currently available digitally from Rosehardt's Bandcamp.  


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Here Lies Man: "Sorrow, Blood and Tears (Fela Kuti cover)" (via RidingEasy Records/Us-Them Group/Classic Rock/YouTube)

Here Lies Man is releasing a 4-song EP titled, Animal Noises.  The EP is scheduled to release November 24th from RidingEasy Records.  The band's rendition of Fela Kuti's "Sorrow, Blood and Tears" premiered at Classic Rock.



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On The Wane: "Sultry Song" (via Shameless Promotion/YouTube)

On The Wane's new LP, Schism, is releasing November 20th. You can pre-order the album through their Bandcamp.



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Amenra: "A Solitary Reign" (via Neurot Recordings/Earsplit PR/YouTube)

Amenra's newest album, Mass IV, is currently available for purchase at Neurot Recordings.



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Godflesh: "Post-Self" (via Rarely Unable/Avalanche Recordings/Bandcamp)

From Rarely Unable —
Industrial metal pioneers Godflesh will release their new album Post Self on November 17th via Justin K. Broadrick's Avalanche Recordings on CD, digital and LP formats, with a cassette version incoming on Hospital Productions.


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Big City Cough: "Before This There Was Everything" (via Auteur Research/Soundcloud)

Taken from the LP, Born At Night, which is available to purchase at Bandcamp.


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Lavender Child: "Happy Illusions" (via The Revue/YouTube)

"Happy Illusions" is a single from the upcoming album, Reflections.  I don't currently have release info.



Sincerely,
Letters From A Tapehead

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