Thursday, January 09, 2020

OOIOO: "jibun"

Yoshimi's OOIOO is releasing a new album via Thrill Jockey called nijimusi. A single from the album titled "jibun" reveals exactly what is to be expected from OOIOO: playful instrumental navigation anchored by remarkable rhythmic acuity. It's like dreamy, minimalist academia. There's a glorious swell of instrumentation that breaks up the track midway, swinging low end and rapid snare fills carrying this melodic blanket of guitar sound. The latter half of the song is more vocal and exploratory, OOIOO leaning into a few more ideas that don't deviate too much from "jibun"'s initial melodic theme.

You can check out the track below. All info is provided by Thrill Jockey.

Japanese avant-rock innovators OOIOO (ft. YoshimiO of Boredoms) share new single "jibun":

New album nijimusi out Jan. 17th

OOIOO touring Europe this spring, including a set at Rewire Festival 2020 alongside Hildur Guðnadóttir, Ex Eye and more

YoshimiO, frontwoman of OOIOO, is a musical force of nature. The multi-instrumentalist is best known for her drumming Boredoms and work with SAICOBAB, and has collaborated with Susie Ibarra, Kim Gordon, the Flaming Lips and many more

Just over a week out from the release of their new album nijimusi, OOIOO have shared new single “jibun”. Shifting between technicolor acid-tinged guitar melodies and tight rhythmic interplay, OOIOO channel the raw energy of early punk, no wave and psychedelia balanced with a masterful command of their instruments. OOIOO will be touring Europe this spring, including a set at Rewire Festival 2020 in the Netherlands alongside Hildur Guðnadóttir, Ex Eye, The Caretaker and more, with further worldwide tour dates to be announced.

OOIOO has always created a musical language all its own. Under the leadership of Japanese expertimental music figurehead YoshimiO, also a founding member of Boredoms and Free Kitten with Kim Gordon (Sonic Youth), the group has recorded six albums that have subverted expectations and warped perceptions of what constitutes pop and experimental music. After a six year hiatus, OOIOO return to the roots of being a four-piece band on new album
nijimusi. Recorded mainly using a conventional rock ensemble of two guitars, bass, and drums, OOIOO took a primitive and basic approach to creating the music. The arrangement of tones seems to be almost ancient, transcending the notion of a musical ensemble, suggesting the connectivity and oneness that is inherent in all living creatures.

Listen to OOIOO's
nijimusi single "jibun":

Listen elsewhere:
YouTube - Spotify - Apple Music

Pre-order OOIOO's nijimusi:

Letters From A Tapehead

No Ripcord: Lithics

Wendy Kraemer EP
Moone Records
Released: 2.7.20

Letters From A Tapehead

Wednesday, January 08, 2020

2020 Playlist — Sightless Pit, Six Organs of Admittance, Mr. Elevator, WIRE, Jeff Parker

New year, new singles.

While mostly resistant to the "playlist," I'm also aware that singles are consumed this way and that mixes, though crafted and superior in every way, are a thing of the past. This is partly because I no longer curate and develop a year end mix. Inasmuch as I enjoyed making them for friends and family for many years, and disclosing details for reader enjoyment, it's expensive and impractical.

So, I'm buying in and I've rethought the "New Selections" tag for single entries. Enjoy some new tunes and be sure and give a look to my expanding 2020 playlist on Apple Music, the simply titled 2020 Playlist, because playlists require no thought, cohesion, or imagination. But, at least the music's good.


Sightless Pit: "Kingscorpse"
(via Thrill Jockey / Bandcamp)

Album Preorder

Sightless Pit announce debut album Grave of a Dog out 21 February

Sightless Pit is the new trio from Lee Buford (The Body), Kristin Hayter (Lingua Ignota), and Dylan Walker (Full of Hell)

Sightless Pit by Jeffrey Lee Beaulieu
Sightless Pit brings together three of the most ambitious and prolific minds in heavy music today. The trio, comprised of Lee Buford of The Body, Kristin Hayter of Lingua Ignota and Dylan Walker of Full of Hell, have announced the release of their debut album Grave of a Dog, due out 21 February on Thrill Jockey Records. First single "Kingscorpse" perfectly captures both the breadth and clarity of the trio's vision, twisting through operatic vocals, pummeling jackhammer rhythms and vaporous electronics.

On Grave of a Dog, the trio of Buford, Hayter and Walker combine their profound talents and eclectic tastes to make music that is defiantly original and emotionally sublime. Their debut album was crafted without any clear rules or guidelines beyond their desire to work with one another. The central pillar to what coheres the three into a unified voice throughout the album is a shared bleak vision of existence and a willingness to follow each other into bold new territory. Over the course of the eight tracks, the trio reflect the extremes and emotional weight of their world view through elegiac dirges, driving beats, explosive crescendos. Together, three strong voices unite to create a work of remarkable clarity of expression of enormous sorrow, futility and most of all, beauty.

Listen to Sightless Pit's Grave of a Dog single "Kingscorpse":

Listen elsewhere:
YouTube - Spotify - Apple Music


Six Organs of Admittance: "Haunted And Known"
(via Rarely Unable / Drag City / Bandcamp)

Album Preorder



At last, an astonishing new creature from the Six Organs sound-lab is ambulatory, and upon us. On Companion Rises, Ben Chasny mixes synths and digital processing techniques with spacey guitar folk to lift his signature song-craft further out, while bringing it strangely full circle at the same time. Exquisitely arrayed and rich with harmonic exploration, the album presents a handful of cosmic folk-tales whose theme can best be stated as "Stellar-Gnostic."

With "Haunted and Known", the second single from the forthcoming
Companion Rises, Ben's darkly ominous acoustic riff is wound with elegantly resonating synth and electric guitar tones, unwinding seductively before becoming engulfed by the static drift of granular synthesizer. A deep ballad to begin with, "Haunted and Known" is floated into a liquid world of non-linear waves, representing in microcosm the sonic spectre described by Kristen Gallerneaux in her "literary mixtape" High Static, Dead Lines.

With heightened perceptions, "Haunted and Known", along with the rest of
Companion Rises, demonstrates sci-folk at the right time for the terrifying new decade. Prick up your ears and give a listen, the new album awaits you.
Six Organs of Admittance Online: 


Mr. Elevator: "Waiting"
(via Tell All Your Friends / Castle Face Records / THE FADER / YouTube)

Album Preorder

Mr. Elevator (Tomas Dolas, Oh Sees) Share "Waiting" Video Via The FADER

Album Release Show at The Echo (LA) January 16th

Goodbye, Blue Sky Out January 17th via Castle Face Records

Mr Elevator, project of Oh Sees' Tomas Dolas, released the third single, "Waiting" off of their upcoming LP, Goodbye, Blue Sky. The single premiered with The FADER and included an exclusive quote from Tomas Dolas.

"The video came from a dream I had one morning after mixing 'Waiting' the night before, I tried to find someone who could recreate it, but wasn’t having any luck. I brought it up to my friend Jonny who plays bass with us, and he mentioned a friend he had who did visuals and video work and put me in touch with Marty Tzonev.

We all met up at one of my favorite spots, a Mexican restaurant next to my studio in Cypress Park (called Lupita’s) and talked it over and I told Marty about the dream of this guy running endlessly towards the horizon but in the style of an old SNES racing game where the road keeps turning and the mountains are in the background and eventually this shadow-y apocalypse beast-monster-creature of wires emerges towering from the mountains and the man keeps running and running and so on and the world slowly keeps falling apart to the point of his eminent death of falling into a void and a few months later he sent a pretty much identical video of that dream. It was impressive! And a total trip to watch again."

Mr. Elevator will be performing an album release show at LA's The Echo on January 16th. The show includes performances by Automatic and LA Takedown. Tickets are $10 advance and $12 day of show. More show information is available here.

Mr. Elevator is the project of synth and keyboard zealot Tomas Dolas, keyboardist from Oh Sees and head of East Los Angeles analog recording hub “Studio 22”.

With a new line up and taking a further leap into the myriad world of fuzzy guitar-less synth dreamscapes, comes their third full length release Goodbye, Blue Sky out via Castleface Records January 17th, 2020.

John Dwyer writes of the upcoming release: "The drum clock is docking and the night tide washes up synthesized environments woozy and recorded perfectly, in my humble opinion, Mr Elevator has risen and ascended and risen again top floor time and space, he hath bended and brain cells have been rent and spent on the wing aloft and buoyant a perfect rapid eye movement enhancer and Neuromancer.

A capsule garden soundtrack a killer live band Leslie spinning a yarn through the melodious afternoon now its twilight all is well. The most overweight bass sounds abound the crystalline organs blanket breaks and backs the whip crack of the snare is your guide here its pretty fried and boundless in its approach. For fans of Tangerine Dream, Air, Donovan (think the “Hurdy Gurdy Man” LP) The Troggs, Irmin Schmidt, Egg, Stereolab, and even early Mute records."


WIRE: "Primed & Ready"
(via Stereo Sanctity / Pink Flag / YouTube)

Album Preorder

- Share new single "Primed & Ready"
- New album
Mind Hive out January 24th 2020 via pinkflag
- US and UK live dates

Photo credit: Giuliana Covella
Today WIRE have shared the second single from their new album, Mind Hive, which is set for release on January 24th 2020 via the band’s own label pinkflag.

The band’s seventeenth studio album sees the definitive post-punk group continue a run of stellar releases, showcasing a band on peak form 40 years into their hugely influential career.

Following the first glimpse of
Mind Hive, “Cactused”, new single "Primed And Ready" rides out on a tightly pulsing synth sequence punctuated by icy slivers of guitar. This is Wire at their most compressed yet propulsive.

"The lyric/text for this song could be read as a series of questions, set in 2017" comments the band's Graham Lewis. "Who could have known the answers would be, in no particular order…Liverpool FC, me, Boris the Spider, 67, Lieutenant Colonel."

Colin Newman adds: “Primed & Ready” was the easiest song to write on the album, written in less time than it takes to play it. There’s nothing remotely “clever” about the chord sequence / structure and there’s only three chords, 2 in the verse & 1 in the chorus. As in all things Wire “less is more”.

Since their inception WIRE have maintained a reputation for creating music that stretches the rock form whilst simultaneously editing it down to its essence. With their gift for crafting songs that perfectly balance experimentation and accessibility, WIRE were recently hailed by the Quietus as “one of the most consistent British bands of all time”. Yet WIRE exhibit little inclination to look back or trade on past glories, rather they remain resolutely focused on producing music which is smart, vital and defiantly modern.

Mind Hive is the group’s first newly recorded material since 2017’s stellar Silver/Lead. That album garnered rave reviews (“Some of the best tunes they’ve done” – The Guardian) and career best sales. Yet, if Silver/Lead set the bar pretty high, Mind Hive seems to have no problem vaulting over it – a supremely confident album featuring some of the band’s most upbeat moments of recent years.

WIRE’s back catalogue is of course studded with influential epoch defining works. Last year saw the reissue of their ground-breaking first three albums: Pink Flag, Chairs Missing and 154. These were voted amongst the top reissues of the year (Rolling Stone at no.10, Uncut at no.12 and Select at no.3). And now Mind Hive arrives at a time when WIRE are being cited as an influence by yet another generation of bands. They are also the subjects of a career spanning feature documentary called People in a Film due for release late 2020 (details here).

Quite how a group that has been operating for such a long period is still able to produce such exciting and essential work is difficult to understand. And yet here we are; Mind Hive is the most masterful 35 minutes of post-punk you will hear this year.

Mind Hive will be released on January 24th 2020 via pinkflag.

WIRE live dates:

January 27 - Bristol, UK @ The Fleece
January 28 - Manchester, UK @ Band on the Wall
January 29 - Birmingham, UK @ Hare & Hounds
January 30 - Glasgow, UK @ G2 (The Garage)
January 31 - Leeds, UK @ Brudenell Social Club
February 1 - Brighton, UK @ Chalk
March 3 - Minneapolis, MN @ Fine Line
March 4 - Chicago, IL @ Metro
March 6 - Nashville, TN @ Mercy Lounge
March 7 - Atlanta, GA @ Variety Playhouse
March 9 - Washington, DC @ Union Stage
March 10 - Philadelphia, PA @ Underground Arts
March 11 - Brooklyn, NY @ Music Hall of Williamsburg
March 12 - Brooklyn, NY @ Music Hall of Williamsburg
March 13 - Boston, MA @ Sinclair
March 14 - Ottawa, ON @ Bronson Centre
March 16 - Toronto, ON @ Great Hall
May 21 - London, UK @ Islington Assembly Hall

Mind Hive pre-order link
Wire Facebook
Wire Twitter
Wire website


Jeff Parker: "Go Away"
(via Clandestine Label Services / International Anthem-Nonesuch Records / YouTube)

Album Preorder

Jeff Parker’s Suite for Max Brown Due January 24 on International Anthem/Nonesuch Records

Album track “Go Away,” debuts today

Composer and multi-instrumentalist Jeff Parker’s Suite for Max Brown will be released on January 24, 2020 via a newly formed partnership between International Anthem and Nonesuch Records. The album, named for and dedicated to Parker’s mother, features nine original songs as well as “Gnarciss,” an interpretation of Joe Henderson’s “Black Narcissus,” and John Coltrane’s “After the Rain.” Parker plays the majority of the instruments on the record and also engineered most it at home or during his 2018 Headlands Center residency in Sausalito, CA. The album track “Go Away” debuted today and can be heard here; a previously released video for “Max Brown” can be seen here. Parker performs at this year’s Big Ears Festival in Knoxville, TN on March 27, as well as spring dates in Los Angeles, Chicago, and New York, among others; the full schedule is below.

Suite for Max Brown may be pre-ordered at International Anthem’s Bandcamp Store and the Nonesuch Store; it will also be available for download at iTunes and the Nonesuch Store, and for streaming at Spotify, Apple Music, and Amazon.

The album follow’s Parker’s critically praised 2016 record
The New Breed, which, as the composer says, “became a kind of tribute to my father who he passed away while I was making the album. It’s named for a clothing store he owned when I was a kid. I thought it would be nice this time to dedicate something to my mom while she’s still here to see it. Maxine Brown is her maiden name and everybody calls her Max. The picture on the cover is her when she was nineteen.”

Parker’s bandmates on Suite for Max Brown, dubbed the New Breed, include pianist-saxophonist Josh Johnson; bassist Paul Bryan, who co-produced and mixed the album with Parker; piccolo trumpet player Rob Mazurek, his frequent duo partner; trumpeter Nate Walcott, a veteran of Conor Oberst’s Bright Eyes; drummers Jamire Williams, Makaya McCraven, and Jay Bellerose, Parker’s Berklee School of Music classmate; cellist Katinka Kleijn of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra; and his daughter Ruby Parker, who sings on the opening track.

Parker says of his new album, “I used to deejay a lot when I lived in Chicago. I was spinning records one night and for about ten minutes I was able to perfectly synch up a Nobukazu Takemura record with the first movement of John Coltrane’s A Love Supreme and it had this free jazz, abstract jazz thing going on with a sequenced beat underneath. It sounded so good. That’s what I’m trying to do with Suite for Max Brown. It’s got a sequenced beat and there are musicians improvising on top or beneath the sequenced drum pattern. That’s what I was going for. Man vs. machine.

“It’s a lot of experimenting, a lot of trial and error,” he admits. “I like to pursue situations that take me outside myself, where the things I come up with are things I didn’t really know I could do. I always look at this process as patchwork quilting. You take this stuff and stitch it together until a tapestry forms.”

Parker is known to many fans as the longtime guitarist for the Chicago–based quintet Tortoise, one of the most critically revered, sonically adventurous groups to emerge from the American indie scene of the early 1990s. The band’s often hypnotic, largely instrumental sound draws freely from rock, jazz, electronic, and avant-garde music, and it has garnered a large following over the course of nearly thirty years. Aside from recording and touring with Tortoise, Parker has worked as a side man with many jazz greats, including Nonesuch labelmate Joshua Redman on his 2005 Momentum album; as a studio collaborator with other composer-musicians, including Brian Blade, Meshell Ndegeocello, and fellow International Anthem artists Makaya McCraven and Rob Mazurek; and as a solo artist.

Jeff Parker Tour

Thursday, March 5
Los Angeles, CA

Sunday and Monday, March 8 and 9
Chicago, IL

Tuesday, March 10
Ars Nova Presents @ Johnny Brenda’s
Philadelphia, PA

Wednesday, March 11
(Le) Poisson Rouge
New York, NY

Thursday, March 12
Brainville Presents @ Floyd
Miami, FL

Friday, March 27
Big Ears Festival
Knoxville, TN

Letters From A Tapehead

Monday, January 06, 2020

Insect Ark: "Tectonic"

I'm a sucker for a muddy bass line. Insect Ark, owned and operated by the excellent Dana Schechter, has a new release coming out called, The Vanishing. Out on 2/28 via Profound Lore, Insect Ark, now with the aid of drummer Andy Patterson, continues to marry eerie soundscapes with hypnotic rhythmic loops. This project grows with every release and the results are always worth a listen.

Audio, links, and info provided by Earsplit PR.

INSECT ARK: Instrumental Psychedelic Doom Duo Completes Work On New Album, The Vanishing, Set For Release February 28th Through Profound Lore Records; New Track Streaming

Photo by Chad Kelco
INSECT ARK — currently made up of founder Dana Schechter (Swans) and Andy Patterson (ex SubRosa) — have been crafting uncomfortable soundscapes that feel both intimate and icy cold since 2011. Nightmarish horror film-like visions, outer space travel, and gritty noir textures were explored in their previous offerings — the much-praised Portal / Well (2015) and Marrow Hymns (2018) — but now, something far greater is coming. Prepare for The Vanishing.

Set for release next year via Profound Lore Records, the Colin Marston-engineered opus serves as INSECT ARK's third, and most harrowing and punishing record to date. Though many of its segments veer off into mind-expanding outer realms, the interplay between the bass, lap steel guitar, synths, and drums represent a strong and defiant collection of songs that demand your exclusive attention forcefully. It's heavier, darker, and denser than anything INSECT ARK has ever done, without losing any of the writing characteristics that have become synonymous with their personality, like the persistent coating of eerie psychedelia, the alien feel of the melodies, or the ominous dread they often exhale.

"The album's title refers to a recurring daydream I had of disappearing completely - floating out to sea alone, and never being found," offers Schechter of the themes driving the record. "On a much bigger level, it's about the impermanence of life itself, trying to retain perspective of how small we really are."

INSECT ARK's The Vanishing will be released worldwide on CD, LP, and digital formats February 28th, 2020 with preorders to be unveiled next month.

The Vanishing Track Listing:
1. Tectonic
2. Three Gates
3. Philae
4. Danube
5. Swollen Sun
6. The Vanishing

A New York City-based multi-instrumentalist known for her collaborations with Swans (for whom she is now part of the main touring lineup), Angels Of Light, Gnaw, Zeal & Ardor, Wrekmeister Harmonies, and Årabrot, as well as her own projects Bee And Flower and Gifthorse, Dana Schechter is now joined by former SubRosa drummer Andy Patterson, also known for his bands DØNE, the Otolith, INVADRS, and as owner/operator of Salt Lake City recording studio The Boar's Nest. This partnership appears to have completely nailed the true essence of INSECT ARK. After a quick first meeting, within a period of two short months, Schechter and Patterson finished preparing all the new songs for The Vanishing, preceded by a full North American tour with Oranssi Pazuzu to get the new songs up to speed.

The intensity, determination, and dedication poured into the album is clearly audible, captured by the wizardry of engineer Colin Marston (Dysrhythmia, Krallice, Behold The Arctopus). The sound was steered in a visceral, organic direction; you feel enclosed within a living, pulsating, slithering organism. The album artwork, a stunning painting by French artist Sonia Merah, is in and of itself a work of art, but when paired with the sounds of The Vanishing, it becomes a truly haunting and mesmerizing vision of some terribly twisted alternate reality.

"Making music takes a lot out of me," Schechter admits, and it's hard not to understand why after listening to the tour de force that is INSECT ARK's new album. "To pull it out of my heart and put it into the world can be emotionally difficult, since it comes from a complex place with so many facets like pain, belief, hope, anger, joy."

Letters From A Tapehead

Saturday, December 28, 2019

OK, Boomer: My Favorite Records of 2019

While I understand the point of submitting these "best of" lists prior to the year's actual expiry, the reality persists that albums continue to emerge up until the last few seconds of the year tick away. That said, I'm hesitant to finalize these lists weeks prior to the New Year. This list has changed multiple times and been submitted and scrutinized in multiple different ways over the last couple of weeks of December.

I think I got it now so, if you're interested, please read on.

Omissions & Lamentations for 2019:

  • I didn't write as much as I wanted to this year and I'll continue to blame my day-well-into-night job. 
  • I didn't submit a single video this year, so my YouTube channel is going to waste. I'll work on changing that in 2020.
  • I missed a lot of releases and didn't get to talk about some that I really enjoyed.
  • There were not enough show reviews in 2019 despite seeing some excellent performances by Neurosis and Oh Sees among others. Even if I don't write about live gigs, there will almost certainly be a picture or two to check out, so follow me on Instagram at @lettersfromatapehead

A few things:
  • I've been contemplating a podcast version of Letters From A Tapehead, knowing that blogs aren's necessarily popular these days. I can't promise anything: It's a highly expensive and time-consuming endeavor. But, it's on my mind. Maybe I can make some traction on that this year.
  • As I'm exposed to new singles over the course of the year, I'll be compiling them in a playlist over at Apple Music. Follow @scaldwell76 and this playlist:

As always, if there are any additional suggestions of records or artists I should check out, feel free to comment or get in touch.

Thanks for continuing to read this labor of love and my best to you all for 2020.

Here are my favorite albums of 2019:

15).  Child BiteBlow Off The Omens (Housecore Records)

14).  Moor Mother Analog Fluids Of Sonic Black Holes (Don Giovanni Records)

13). Tropical Fuck Storm – Braindrops (Joyful Noise Records)

12). Imperial WaxGastwerk Saboteurs (Saustex Records & Entertainment LLC)

11). Sunn O)))Pyroclasts (Southern Lord Recordings)

10). Oh SeesFace Stabber

9). Barnett+ColocciaVLF (SIGE Records)

"I’m likely not the first to point this out— after listening to VLF, the latest LP from Barnett+Coloccia, I’m hoping the pair is commissioned to score a film. Purveyors of eerie, Faith Coloccia of Mamiffer and Oakeater’s Alex Barnett’s combination of stirring melody ('Fountain of Youth'), electro-noir ('Confession'), and dread-inductive composition ('Bachelor’s Grove') creates narrative when there is none, a thread of unease that’s taunting and seductive. The sublime tension of 'Rain in Bilbao' seeps into the machinery of 'Green Woman', a compelling and unsettling dichotomy of vocal grace and cold automation. For 'Copperworks' and 'Ill Will', two of the most outwardly musical inclusions in VLF, the latter track seems to repeat some of 'Copperwork'’s tonal stutter, building upon that anchor with intensifying drones and sprawling soundscapes that aim to conquer one another." – transcribed from No Ripcord's QUICK TAKES (FEBRUARY 2019)

8). Swansleaving meaning. (Young God Records)

7). Dos MonosDos City (Deathbomb Arc)

6). FKA TwigsMagdelene (Young Turks)

5). MatmosPlastic Anniversary (Thrill Jockey)

"At the core of "Plastisphere", which sounds legitimately like a field recording from some faraway habitat, is the reality that our world is impacted by the durable items we discard. While Matmos succeeds again in offering gimmickry a level of gravitas—this was the duo who used a washing machine as the sole instrument for 2016’s Ultimate Care II—the reality here is that Plastic Anniversary was built from useless, nonessential items, trash that would otherwise collect and exist simply to build up a waste mountain. This is the lamentation: the wear-and-tear of our natural world; the years and anniversaries we live and celebrate as time moves; our impermanence next to storage pills, riot shields, and breast implants." — 3.25.29

4). Oozing WoundHigh Anxiety (Thrill Jockey)

"Is "Surrounded by Fucking Idiots" this year’s National Anthem? Equal parts stabbing humor and enjoyable riff-laden assault make Oozing Wound’s High Anxiety the wonderful thing that it is: 34 minutes of relentless lambaste replete with dense rhythmic irregularity ('Filth Chisel'), the occasional lapse into thrash metal idioms ('Die On Mars'), and viscous Jesus Lizard-level musculature ('Birth of a Flat Earther'). “I’m so sick of Rock N’ Roll!” screams vocalist Zack Weil during 'Tween Shitbag', his declaration an ironic cherry to top the band’s tumbling wall of amplified chaos. Recorded at Steve Albini’s Electrical Audio studio, High Anxiety will encourage your neck to snap, Weil’s over-the-top vocal delivery combined with the band’s refreshing lack of constraint apparently 'too heavy metal' as spoken aloud during the altered soundbyte that follows 'Riding the Universe'. Is Oozing Wound too heavy metal? Or, are they just unwilling to be safely categorized? Perhaps this was an assessment made by 'fucking idiots?'" – transcribed from No Ripcord's QUICK TAKES (MARCH/APRIL 2019)

3). Pinkish BlackConcept Unification (Relapse Records)

"Pinkish Black’s sound design is evocative of the synthesizer-laden terror that granted serial killers and ghouls a thematic identity in the 70s and 80, utilizing the electro-modeled score that already owes itself to macabre things and pushing the aural depths and motion of doom metal into their undulating and tonal environs. In doing so, the group (vocalist & keys/synthesizer player Daron Beck and drummer Jon Teague) offer the doom subgenre some respite from its usual onslaught of deep, droning guitars and guttural, throaty vocals a la Primitive Man, Usnea, or even Sleep. Following the duo’s 2015 release Bottom of the Morning, Pinkish Black’s Concept Unification takes their concept further, injecting the record with a compelling boost of melancholy ('Until'), dread-inducing patience ('Dial Tone'), and machined dystopia ('Inanimatronic'). The excellent 'Next Solution', the album’s 12-minute closer, begins like a suicide note set to Hunky Dory-era David Bowie, its grim opening stanzas sung to piano music with Beck’s brooding register. A radiating bass riff and Teague’s metronomic kick drum shift the song into motion and lead the track into an aggressive and ethereally-charged jam replete with electronic melodies and snare fills before collapsing back into its initial gloom." – transcribed from No Ripcord's QUICK TAKES (JUNE 2019)

2). Sunn O)))Life Metal (Southern Lord Recordings)

"Whether his intention or not, Steve Albini (Big Black, Shellac, Electrical Audio) tends to reveal some level of dimension from the artists he records. As the distinct and pummeling tonal crawl conjured by Sunn O)))’s Stephen O’Malley and Greg Anderson has provided enough of a versatile device to span multiple LPs, Albini’s involvement with the group’s latest release, Life Metal (and its subsequent companion piece, Pyroclasts), has helped shape it into something gratifyingly warm and blissfully immersive. Built out with additional players and instruments, O’Malley and Anderson—having already navigated the tonal depths of perceived despair with albums like Black One—seem to relish in the glory of their sonics with the steady and lasting blaze of "Between Sleipnir's Breaths" (two pieces of 15th-century poetry performed by musician Hildur Guðnadóttir) and the subliminal victory of "Troubled Air". Listening to the 19-minutes of "Aurora", a bass tone and harmonizing vocal heard clearly during O’Malley and Anderson’s reverberating downstrokes, the clarity of sound is exquisite." — transcribed from No Ripcord's 50 BEST ALBUMS OF 2019

1). Lingua IgnotaCaligula (Profound Lore)

"Being art as a device for (Kristin) Hayter’s personal exorcism, Caligula captures a fascinating duality built from rage and melancholia. While experience has informed this piece, Hayter’s talent has made it possible, enabling her to shriek throughout the length of the requiem-esque “Butcher of the World” and the doom-laden strut of “Day of Tears and Mourning” while offering some melodic respite with tracks like “May Failure Be Your Noose” and the minimalist piano ballads “Fragrant Is My Many Flowered Crown” and “Sorrow Sorrow Sorrow.” It’s a varied listen, moments of grace and vulnerability agreeing with its uglier, more threatening selections." –  transcribed from The Key's 20 Albums You Shouldn’t Overlook in 2019

And, here are my follow ups:

16). MonoNowhere No Here (Temporary Residence)

17). Russian Baths — Deepfake (Good Eye Records)

18). Sheer MagA Distant Call (Sheer Mag LLC)

19). Mike Patton/Jean-Claude Vannier Corpse Flower (Ipecac Recordings)

20). Tomb MoldPlanetary Clairvoyance (20 Buck Spin)

21). SurachaiCome, Deathless (BL_K NOISE)

22). POW!Shift (Castle Face Records)

23). Metro CrowdPlanning (Maple Death Records)

24). Freddie Gibbs & MadlibBandana (ESGN / Keep Cool / Madlib Invazion / RCA)

25). Taiwan Housing Project Sub-Language Trustees (Ever / Never)

26). clipping.There Existed an Addition to Blood (Sub Pop)

27). Great Grandpa ­– Four Of Arrows (Big Scary Monsters)

28). Amirtha Kidambi’s Elder OnesFrom Untruth (Northern Spy Records)

29). Prettiest EyesVol. 3 (Castle Face Records)

30). Ed BalloonThe Dubs (Deathbomb Arc)

31). Spirits Having FunAuto-Portrait (Ramp Local)

32). Flying Pan AmC’est ça (Constellation Records)

33). HIDE Hell Is Here (Dais Records)

34). Cinema CinemaCCXMD (Nefarious Industries)

35). Nick Cave & The Bad SeedsGhosteen (Ghosteen Ltd.)

36). Danny Brownuknowhatimsayin¿ (Warp)

37). BellropeYou Must Relax (Exile On Mainstream)

38). Desert Sessions11 & 12 (Matador)

39). Gang of FourHappy Now

40). Royal TruxWhite Stuff (Fat Possum Records)

Singles & EPs:

1). Eye FlysContext (Thrill Jockey)

2). Mint FieldMientras Esperas (Innovative Leisure)

3). Guerilla TossWhat Would The Odd Do? (NNA Tapes)

4). Fever Dream Horror Scene – s/t (Sister Cylinder)

5). The Holy CircleSick With Love (Deathbomb Arc)

Favorite Songs (or, New Selections):

1). Mint Field: "Jardin de la Paz" (Innovative Leisure)

2). She Keeps Bees: "Coyote" (Ba Da Bing Records

3). Torche: "Admission" (Relapse Records)

4). Ionna Gika: "Out of Focus" (Sargent Horse)

5). clipping.: "Blood of the Fang" (Sub Pop)

6). Uniform & The Body: "Not Good Enough" (Sacred Bones)

7). Chastity Belt: "Ann's Jam" (Hardly Art)

8). Waste of Space Orchestra: "Seeker's Reflection" (Svart Records)

9). HIDE: "Raw Dream" (Dais Records)

10). Boy Harsher: "Come Closer"

Letters From A Tapehead

OOIOO: "jibun"

Yoshimi 's OOIOO is releasing a new album via Thrill Jockey called nijimusi . A single from the album titled "jibun" reveals ...