Tuesday, May 22, 2018

What's (Re)New? — Pain Of Mind by Neurosis

A few days ahead of its scheduled reissue, Neurosis' 1987 debut LP, Pain Of Mind, is currently streaming at the group's Bandcamp site and pre-order links for the physical releases, which include color options for vinyl, are available at Neurot Recordings

Highly anthemic, raw, and certainly energized, Pain Of Mind precedes the band's first actual steps toward the path that Neurosis would eventually cut for themselves, pioneering a version of metal music that investigated how sound could be explored and the treasures those deep recesses could hold.  Released at a time when hardcore was going through its midlife crisis, faced with either the possibility of growing musically or staying the course, Pain Of Mind is itself a crossover release, musically ahead of the lockstep one-two punch typified by hardcore's highest esteemed while adhering to the genre's speed, song length economy and aggression.  It's a blistering listen.  

Pain Of Mind will be out May 25th via Neurot Recordings. 

If you're interested, you can find reviews for other Neurosis reissues here:

• A 2010 review of Enemy of the Sun

All info and links were provided by the excellent and always accommodating Earsplit PR. 

NEUROSIS: Remastered/Reissued Pain Of Mind Debut LP Streaming In Full; Album Out Friday Via Neurot Recordings

Photos by Murray Bowles
Neurot Recordings presents the remastered reissue of NEUROSIS' debut album, Pain Of Mind. The album is streaming in its entirety ahead of its re-release this Friday, May 25th.

Stream NEUROSIS' remastered reissue
Pain Of Mind debut LP HERE.

Pain Of Mind is set to be re-released alongside CHRIST ON PARADE's A Mind Is A Terrible Thing full-length. Both initially released in 1987, these two albums will see a simultaneous worldwide reissue on LP, CD, and digital formats on May 25th. The artwork for Pain Of Mind has been updated by Josh Graham (A Storm Of Light) in the tradition of the previously-reissued NEUROSIS titles, and the album has been remastered by Bob Weston at Chicago Mastering.

Find preorders HERE, and the 1987 bundle with NEUROSIS' Pain Of Mind and CHRIST ON PARADE's A Mind Is A Terrible Thing HERE.

Pain of mind, sickness of heart...

Pain Of Mind marks the inception of one of the weirdest and most powerful bands there ever was as they begin their odyssey through the sonic landscape: thirty-three years, eleven albums and counting. These gritty punk songs bear little resemblance to what NEUROSIS would become, but the future was written here, and if you listen closely to these kids – barely out of high school at the time, you can hear their early influences: The guitars and existential anguish of Amebix and Rudimentary Peni, the passionate politics of Crass, the heaviness of Sabbath – and here, too, they lay the foundation for some of their enduring concerns: the pursuit of transcendence, and contemplation on the downward suck of despair.

As Ian MacKaye coyly suggests in the East Bay Punk doc Turn It Around, there are "a lot of holes to fall into" growing up in the Bay Area. In 1987 Dave Edwardson was eighteen, Scott Kelly was nineteen, Jason Roeder was sixteen, Chad Salter, the band elder, was twenty-one, and they had already fallen into many of them, including, of course, the great abyss of depression. Only a teenager could write the punk anthems "Black," "Grey," "Life On Your Knees," and of course the title track, "Pain Of Mind." They are songs of survival.

With Pain Of Mind, NEUROSIS sunk their claws into the hearts and minds of the East Bay scene like no one else. They were fucking dark, gazing right into the abyss and refusing to turn away. The cacophony of vocals on Pain Of Mind – Scott's unhinged screams, and Dave's guttural growl, suggested a familiar sort of internal mania: like the voices in an unquiet mind, paranoid, but for all the right reasons. And Jason Story's original cover art perfectly captures that torment.

NEUROSIS shows in the Pain Of Mind-era were like nothing else. The pit was wild; people rolled around on the floor, climbed the walls, threw themselves off the stage. Watching Neurosis play felt like a seizure that reset your brainwaves: shock treatment, an exorcism. For a few days after a show, you always felt real mellow.

NEUROSIS reminded us that maybe we weren't free, but at least we were locked up together. It sounds melodramatic, but NEUROSIS might have saved our lives. -- Anna Brown


Letters From A Tapehead

Thursday, May 10, 2018

Buys & Receipt — Axebreaker, Ultravox, Magazine, Tangerine Dream, Die Kreuzen, Paul McCartney, U.S. Girls, The Jesus Lizard, Goblin, Oh Sees, OCS, Sleep

Axebreaker: The Whited Sepulcher 

Ultravox: "Passing Strangers"

Magazine: "Vigilance"

Tangerine Dream: "Betrayal (Sorcerer Theme)"

Die Kreuzen: "Wish"

Paul McCartney: "Temporary Secretary"

U.S. Girls: "National Anthem" & "Pearly Gates"

The Jesus Lizard: "Bloody Mary"

Goblin: "L'alba Dei Morti Viventi"

Oh Sees: "A Few Days of Reflection"

OCS: "Cannibal Planet"

Sleep: "Marijuanaut's Theme"

Letters From A Tapehead

Tuesday, May 08, 2018

New Selections — Maff, Jaye Jayle, Becky and the Birds, Yonatan Gat, MIEN, Carla Bozulich, Clebs, Weathered Statues

Here are some songs to consider.  Please enjoy. 

Maff: "Desfile" & "Hawaii"
(via Shameless Promotion / Bandcamp)

"Desfile" and "Hawaii" are both featured on Maff's newly released digital EP, Melaniña, which can be purchased at the band's Bandcamp site.


Jaye Jayle: "Ode to Betsy"
(via Rarely Unable/Sargent House/YouTube)

From Rarely Unable: 



Jaye Jayle, Evan Patterson’s Americana-noir project, has not only opened a new chapter for the Young Widows frontman—it’s blossomed into a universe all its own. The newest arc in the Jaye Jayle narrative has been revealed with the announcement of the band’s latest album No Trail And Other Unholy Paths, set for release June 29th via Sargent House. The album’s first single— the smoky, hypnotic track “Ode To Betsy”— is now streaming.

Beginning as a flurry of 7” singles housed in bare-bones dust jackets, Jaye Jayle has evolved into a captivating persona alterna for the Louisville-based singer-guitarist. Imbuing negative space with hallucinatory mantras, Patterson has embraced his strengths as a storyteller while trekking into thickets of unmarked sonic terrain. With his cohorts Todd Cook on bass, Neal Argabright on drums, and Corey Smith on auxiliary instrumentation, Jaye Jayle unfurls a tapestry of neo-folk economy, krautrock-esque repetition, skid row’s darkest blues, Midwestern indie rock’s nihilism, and Tangerine Dream’s analog oscillations.

Produced by Dean Hurley, David Lynch’s music supervisor of the last twelve years,
No Trail And Other Unholy Paths has transcended the album format, elevating itself to a choose-your-own-adventure experience. Patterson notes that the album bears no specific beginning or ending—Side A and Side B are meant to be interchangeable. The album could open with the fluttering instrumental “No Trail,” or the slow burning synths of “As Soon As The Night,” even the spectral push-pull of “Marry Us,” featuring Emma Ruth Rundle’s spellbinding vocals. Regardless of track sequencing, No Trail And Other Unholy Paths is an album that drives its aural dimensions to the absolute threshold — and then some.

No Trail And Other Unholy Paths is available for preorder via Sargent House here.


Becky and the Birds: "Concept Store"
(via Wilful Publicity/Soundcloud)

From Wilful Publicity:

After an avalanche of praise for her debut single ‘Holding On’ earlier this year, the highly acclaimed Swedish singer and producer Becky and the Birds has returned with her brand new single ‘Concept Store’.

Incorporating jazzy pianos and bass among classic hip hop beats, Becky and the Birds’ lush flighty vocals soar through the track alongside the samples she’s plucked straight from nature.

Regarding the new single Becky and the Birds says,
“‘Concept Store’ is about when you find yourself obsessing over what the person you love is thinking. I guess you could say that it’s about some kind of paranoia, you’re stuck with the thought and the feeling that he or she is about to leave, and soon you’ll start over-analyzing shit.”

‘Concept Store’ is the second track to be taken from Becky and the Birds’ forthcoming debut EP, which will be released later this spring. Featuring a genre-spanning blend of lush electronics, with nods to trip-hop and ‘90s R&B the result is similar to the likes of SZA, Solange and even Ella Fitzgerald.


Yonatan Gat: "Cue the Machines"
(via Tell All Your Friends PR/NPR/Joyful Noise Recordings/YouTube)

From Tell All Your Friends PR:

Yonatan Gat is a genre all to his own. His new opus, Universalists (out May 4th on Joyful Noise in US and Glitterbeat in Europe) sees the New York experimental composer honing his skills not only as guitarist and bandleader, but also as a producer. His sophomore LP sees Gat experimenting with splicing live-to-tape recordings of his genre-bending trio in ways that are as indebted to Kanye West as they are to electric era Miles Davis or Brazilian experimentalists Os Mutantes (with which Yonatan recently released a split 7-inch), pushing the envelope in ways that only a few can.

Album opener “Cue The Machines” starts with an Italo-Spanish choir – but the voices get manipulated, sampled and chopped into stuttering electronic rhythms underneath Gal Lazer’s merciless jazz-punk drums and Sergio Sayeg’s countermelodic bass. The second track, "Post-World", uses Gat's guitar to reframe a traditional work song from Mallorca into a mysterious, yearning ballad. Lead single “Cockfight” pays homage to Balinese music, and album centerpiece “Medicine” combines Gat’s sound with the Eastern Medicine Singers, a group of Algonquin Native American drummers. Along with SwansThor Harris they create a pulsating, stream-of-consciousness trance.

Over the previous decade, Gat became known as one of the world's top performers as founder and guitarist of Monotonix, hailed by SPIN as
"the most exciting live band in rock’n’roll," with concerts that quite literally destroyed the border between performer and audience, and were controversial enough to get them banned from playing their home country.

Gat then relocated to New York City. He began recording and performing as a bandleader, and in 2014 released the
Iberian Passage EP, a debut that maintained his signature raw energy while switching the focus away from the shock-performance style of Monotonix to a more ritualistic, improvised, shamanic musical exploration. 2015 brought the genre-bending full-length Director. Composed mostly of live improvisations by his trio and field recordings made by Gat, the record was a mind-melting exploration through many different styles of music, from Brazilian psych and Afrobeat to free jazz, surf, and 20th century avant-garde.

Three years in the making,
Universalists is a conceptual and crafted snapshot of an artist evolving and experimenting, broadening his musical palette to incorporate vocals, vibraphones, horns, strings and samples, all the while remaining loyal to his live ferocity. Every recording of Gat's band in Universalists was performed (many completely improvised) live, each in a different studio, before they were meticulously edited, rearranged, reframed and reinvented by Gat.

A truly global work set to be released in the hostile political climate of 2018, the album is inevitably charged with a sense of confrontational urgency. But while it is indeed a provocative work, it goes beyond exploring the distress of our time. Universalists goes on to emphasize not the distinction between genres, and by extension cultures, but the complex similarities.


MIEN: "Odyssey"
(via Force Field PR/Clash Mag/Rocket Recordings/YouTube)

From Force Field PR:

The debut album from MIEN (pronounced "Mean") was released on Friday April 6th, 2018. MIEN is comprised of The Black Angel’s Alex Maas, The Horror’s Tom Furse, Elephant Stone’s Rishi Dhir and The EarliesJohn-Mark Lapham. Today the band shares the official music video for "Odyssey" via Clash Mag

Carla Bozulich (w/ The Night Porter): "Sha Sha"
(via Rarely Unable/Constellation Records/Soundcloud)

From Rarely Unable:

The second track of Carla Bozulich's new album Quieter, "Sha Sha" is a joint effort from the brilliant quartet The Night Porter. Consisting of Carla along with Ches Smith (drums, vibes), Jessica Catron (cello), and Shahzad Ismaily (bass), The Night Porter – which falls between Scarnella and Evangelista in Carla's extensive musical timeline – crafted gorgeously melodic earworms and "Sha Sha" is a fine example of their musical chemistry. Carla describes the group as being "thick as thieves" and one listen to this elegantly spacious yet tightly-crafted track leaves no doubt that this collaboration really is something special. Listen to "Sha Sha" on Spotify, Apple Music and Soundcloud


Clebs: "I'm Here"
(via Terrorbird Media/JASS/Soundcloud)

From Terrorbird Media:

I’m Here is the debut release from Clebs, the preternatural duo of Swiss vocalist Emilie Weibel and Atlanta-bred producer/drummer Jason Nazary. Elements of the contemporary found in Nazary’s production, embellished by Weibel’s unique polyrhythmic phrasing, filter through the lens of the non-human, forming Clebs’ uncanny & often spiritual musical vocabulary.

While the track "Homemade Bread" gives a sneak-peek into the more experimental, Laurie Anderson-esque elements to their music, the title track "I'm Here" goes more off-kilter club, with beats an addictive chorus to boot.
I'm Here is set for a May 25th release date on Brooklyn imprint JASS.


Weathered Statues: "Betrayal"
(via Us-Them Group/PopMatters/Svart Records/Soundcloud)

From Us/Them Group:

Denver heavy post-punk quartet Weathered Statues premiere a new track from their forthcoming Svart Records debut today via PopMatters.

Darkness and light: They strike an unsettling balance on
Borderlands, the debut full-length by Weathered Statues, due May 11 from Svart Records.

Across the album's ten songs, the Denver four-piece walks a shadowy liminal zone. On one side is darkwave, deathrock, and vintage postpunk; on the other is synthpop, shoegaze, and classic new wave. Vast hooks mesh with harsh riffs. Ghostly melodies mingle with industrial synths. The band draws on their formative years immersed in the music of Siouxsie and the Banshees, Killing Joke, Xmal Deutschland, Echo and the Bunnymen, Christian Death, and The Cure. At the same time,
Borderlands resonates alongside the work of contemporary groups like Wax Idols, Soft Kill, Preoccupations, and Merchandise.

The members of Weathered Statues — singer/keyboardist Jennie Mather, guitarist/keyboardist Jason Heller, bassist Bryan Flanagan, and drummer Andrew Warner — are all veterans of the underground music scene. Jason played in The Blue Ontario with members of Christie Front Drive. Jennie and Jason played in Hyacinth with members of Minsk and Lake of Violet. Jennie, Jason, and Andrew played in Cloak of Organs with members of Planes Mistaken for Stars and Wovenhand. And Andrew also serves as the current drummer of Slim Cessna's Auto Club.

Letters From A Tapehead

Monday, April 30, 2018

International Jazz Day!

If you needed an excuse to celebrate music, today is International Jazz Day.

Letters From A Tapehead

Friday, April 27, 2018

No Ripcord: Drinks

Tim Presley of White Fence and Cate Le Bon have issued a new Drinks LP, Hippo Lite. You can find a review of the album at No Ripcord.  Hippo Lite is now available for purchase from Drag City

Hippo Lite
Drag City
Released: 4.20.18

Letters From A Tapehead

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

What's (Re)New?: Big Black's Headache EP

Touch and Go Records is reissuing Big Black's Headache, a four-song EP originally released in 1987. Now past its thirty year mark, I'm aware of Headache thanks to the The Rich Man's Eight Track Tape compilation, which pulled together tracks from the EP as well as Atomizer and the "Heartbeat" single.  I expect these remastered tracks to sound much better than they do in the Eight Track Tape compilation.  Big Black's Steve Albini, ever the critic of digital technology, had no qualms with illustrating the limitations of first-gen CD systems by intentionally building this CD-only release from analog masters.  Consequently, the tracks don't have much depth or bottom.  In fact, they sound crispy.  So, I'm hoping for a richer, more intensified listening experience once this EP becomes available.

The EP's most noteworthy inclusion is likely "My Disco," though the piercing, up-tempo "Grinder," the dilemma-rich "Ready Men" ("You've got your principles/I've got bills to pay/You've got your lovers/I've got mouths to feed..."), and the interestingly swinging "Pete, King of the Detectives" all make for a solid listen. 

Headache has been remastered by Steve Albini and Bob Weston (Shellac), the album is available for pre-order at Touch and Go Records.  It's scheduled to release on June 15th.  Info and links come courtesy of Touch and Go Records.  

Big Black's 1987 12" EP HEADACHE Remastered!
Available June 15, 2018

Originally released in 1987, this 4-song 12" EP is the fourth Big Black vinyl title to be remastered by Steve Albini and Bob Weston at Chicago Mastering - following the previously released remasters of Atomizer, Bulldozer, and Racer-X. Each remastered vinyl copy of Headache is packaged in a single-pocket LP jacket with 11" x 11" insert and digital download coupon.

You can preorder the remastered Big Black HEADACHE EP HERE
Orders for the Big Black Headache 12" EP will ship on or before June 15, 2018.

Listen to HEADACHE EP Remastered
Spotify / Itunes

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Letters From A Tapehead

Monday, April 16, 2018

Notes from the Record Room: Bring on the Kill Taker

I was in Ocean City, New Jersey with a friend, sitting outside on a deck with a boombox resting between us. It was 1993. On this particular evening, I had something new that I wanted to pop into the tape deck I’d picked up earlier at the Surf Mall, a boardwalk superstore packed with clothing, posters, and other youth-marketed, alterna-junk. It was a cassette of Fugazi’s latest release, In On The Kill Taker. I didn’t really know what to expect, but I was eager to hear it.

In the song “Facet Squared,” frets are gently tapped, a couple sharp notes are plucked, a relatively understated rhythm gains traction and the sounds gradually build. And then all you hear are guitars cycling through a couple of glorious phrases as all other elements go silent. I felt elated when those riffs peaked, as if triumph had beset my ears, offering assurances that I’d found something for me, something that was going to be important to me for the rest of my life. I’m admittedly romanticizing this experience, (likely to a fault), but I distinctly remember feeling some sense of relief once Ian MacKaye had begun to shout his throat raw over Brendan Canty’s bucket snare, caught up and enamored by the loud. I may have exclaimed, “YES!” I didn’t know it at the time, but In On The Kill Taker was my introduction to one of the greatest rock groups ever. 


Fugazi’s In On The Killer was the band’s third full-length release. Out at a time when music industry hunger for “alterna”-fodder was perhaps at its zenith, Fugazi stayed their own course, refusing MTV airplay and keeping to a self-sustaining model that enabled the band to maintain independence, release the albums they wanted to and guard their own philosophy. As the underground became farmland for major labels, Fugazi rejected all offers. Ticket prices were $5 for every show, which were performed for crowds of all ages and completely free of t-shirts and merchandise. I think it’s fair to say that no major label would’ve agreed to any of that.

In On The Kill Taker was flipped a lot during the subsequent months of summer into fall, from the remaining shrieks of feedback at the end of “23 Beats Off” to the lonely strums of guitar notes that carry “Last Chance For A Slow Dance” to a close. The excellence and intensity of “Facet Squared” was taken up a notch by the immediate rush of “Public Witness Program,” a hook to remember (“I like to walk around and… I’m paid to stand around and…”) as vocalist/guitarist Guy Picciotto applied hardcore-level speed to his distinct register. I hadn’t yet really explored hardcore, the exception(s) at the time being Black Flag releases and In God We Trust, Inc. by Dead Kennedys. MacKaye’s vitriolic, sans-chemical musings via Minor Threat were unknown to me, as was Revolution Summer and the bands (One Last Wish, Rites of Spring, Happy Go Licky, Embrace) and circumstances that ultimately led to the formation of Fugazi. 


I was wise enough, however, to understand what evolved punk rock was, acknowledging that the early 90s was the time for that sort of thing. Every alterna-weirdo-flannel-donning-buzz-clip act had a punk foundation even if they weren’t making what could be categorized as punk music. With 1992’s Check Your Head, the Beastie Boys provide a great example of this, having seen an opportunity to explore their hardcore roots, returning to their instruments and merging rock, funk, punk, and hip-hop into an (for its time) unconventional concept. The album was perfect for its era and sold me on the notion that punk rock provided a solid primer for more creative possibilities.

Fugazi did this as well. As an overall assessment of the band’s catalogue, a consistent and flawless body of work I will add, the band’s principles and integrity recall their days of fast-loud-n-angry while their willingness to experiment and progress could’ve been viewed as elitist by the hardcore set. As comparison, I think of Black Flag’s ambitious, albeit inconsistent, musical growth. 


As the hair grew lengthy and the jams more complex, it’s unfortunate that Black Flag’s development is so poorly documented, mostly due to legal trouble that barred the band from releasing albums for a stretch of time following 1981’s milestone LP, Damaged. By the time their follow-up, My War, was released, the band was exploring new ideas and the resultant injection of Sabbath-ian metallic sludge was deemed alienating by hardcore kids who wanted more of the same. Doubling down with jazz-centric instrumental (The Process of Weeding Out) and spoken-word releases (Family Man), Black Flag’s want of creative freedom speaks to the avenues that punk rock can and should open, though disillusioned fans will often perceive this level of momentum as some sort of violation. 

Fans get pissed off when they feel left behind. For as often as “sell-out” is applied to any artist deviating slightly from the script, it’s important to take inventory of a band whose members wish to move past their younger selves. I eventually connected with Minor Threat’s very seminal discography. And while the dramatic setup of “Returning the Screw,” the desperation of “Rend It,” and the implied longing I always gleaned from the instrumental “Sweet and Low” don’t share much with the hyper-realized aggression of “Seeing Red,” “Screaming at a Wall,” or “In My Eyes,” there’s no actual loss of conviction or even volume. Fugazi is just less black and white in sound and content. The anti-colonial sentiment of “Smallpox Champion” is as strong a societal and political indictment as “Bottled Violence” is a statement against alcohol-fueled conflict. There’s still plenty of rage to distill, plenty of passion to absorb. “Selling out” isn’t facilitated so much by modifying how the message is delivered as it is the complete and total abandonment of the message itself. At least that’s how I feel about it. 

While I can’t say that this cassette is solely responsible for the record collection I’ve been amassing for the past couple of decades, it’s informed a heavy portion of that collection. In On The Kill Taker granted me access to independent rock music and widened my scope of performers, bands, and albums to locate and absorb. And for all that access, I still consider Fugazi’s output as essential as any albums from The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath, Jimi Hendrix, or any other decorated pillar of rock’s continuing story. 

Letters From A Tapehead

Thursday, March 01, 2018

No Ripcord: Keiji Haino & SUMAC

A review of the recently released experi-METAL (buh-dum-chck) collaboration between Keiji Haino and SUMAC is up at No Ripcord.  The album, American Dollar Bill - Keep Facing Sideways, You're Too Hideous to Look at Face On, is available to purchase from Thrill Jockey Records.

Keiji Haino & SUMAC
American Dollar Bill - Keep Facing Sideways, You're Too Hideous to Look at Face OnThrill Jockey Records
Released: 2.23.18

Letters From A Tapehead

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

TRAX! — The Common Cold, Once and Future Band, Never Betters, Earthless, Ripped To Shreds, For Esmé, Wand, Belong

The Common Cold: "Stop The Traffic"
(via mutante-inc./Action Records/Soundcloud)

"Stop The Traffic" is the lead single from The Common Cold's upcoming new album, Shut Up! Yo Liberals.  The album is scheduled to release May 4th and is available for pre-order at Action Records.

Via mutante-inc.:
Only 300 copies of the vinyl will be released and the first 100 copies include a hand painted inner sleeve, a free badge, and other goodies


Once and Future Band: "Destroy Me"
(via Tell All Your Friends PR/Castle Face Records/Soundcloud)

Via Castle Face:

We're happy to be able to speak of this now that the cat's out of the bag — Once and Future Band have graced us with another tasty morsel of everything they do best. Vault-dust begone; this EP deserves your attention. Rarely do the words "vitruosic" and "tasteful" collide so often in my mind as trying to describe these guys. Chops for days on all sides, but in service of such heartbreakers of tunes that you almost forget that this is new, vital stuff - they sound like they could have ruled the airwaves and head shops of the 70s of an alternate universe. Indelible tunes and very deserving of your attention. You can check out "Destroy Me" here, this will be out in early March!

The EP is called Brain and it will be out 3/9 from Castle Face.  Tell All Your Friends PR thankfully confirmed. 


Never Betters: "Pictures"
(via Never Betters/New Noise Magazine/YouTube)

"Pictures" will be featured in Never Betters' upcoming split release with Grievances, which is scheduled to release, 3.16.18.  The split is available for pre-order at the group's Bandcamp.


Earthless: "Black Heaven"
(via Speakeasy PR/Nuclear Blast/YouTube)

"Black Heaven" is the title track to the upcoming new Earthless LP, which will be the band's first release for Nuclear Blast.  The album is available for pre-order and is scheduled to release, 3.16.18.   
Via Speakeasy PR:
Black Heaven was recorded at Rancho de la Luna in Joshua Tree, Calif. with Dave Catching (Eagles of Death Metal) handling production.


Ripped To Shreds: "Craven Blood"
(via Clawhammer PR/Soundcloud)

Via Clawhammer:
One-man OSDM band RIPPED TO SHREDS, featuring extreme mult-tasker Andrew Lee (ex-DISINCARNATION), will release debut album Mai-zang on Malaysia's Necrolatry Records (cassette) and Mexico's Craneo Negro Records (CD). Reamping/mixing/mastering was handled by Damian Herring (HORRENDOUS) at Subterranean Watchtower Studios. Album artwork was created by Skaðvaldur.


For Esmé: "Doubtmouth"
(via For Esmé/YouTube)

"Doubtmouth" will be featured in the upcoming album from For Esmé, Righteous Woman, which is scheduled to release, 5.25.18.  This single can be purchased at For Esmé's Bandcamp.  


Wand: "The Gift"
(via mutante-inc./Drag City/Bandcamp)

Via mutante-inc.:
If the emblem of Wand's Plum was the stark blue cloud - a condensation, a linking between longing molecules, data hungering for more data, a flotilla of vapor between eye and sky - then Wand's new EP reeks of something more forceful, more seductive, more intoxicating, more insidious: this is Perfume. Here are six electric hues, shocks of light that flagrantly provoke the dark, a posy's clutch of purple, fuchsia, green and snowy white that curl against a stench of plague. 

Recorded between tours and fire seasons in Grass Valley, CA by Tim Green,
Perfume potent, expansive tunes were mixed in Woodstock, NY by Daniel James Goodwin. The band features Sofia Arreguin, Evan Burrows, Robbie Cody, Cory Hanson and Lee Landey.

There's a kind of return here, a haunting, the deja vu you only take in through a curious nose. Your nose invites the world inside your skull. A familiar fragrance finds you when you thought you'd let a lover go, but it won't linger like a lover, flickering away with the breeze toward a yawning future. Spray
Perfume freely on 5/25!


Belong: "Red Velvet or Nothing"
(via Modern Matters/Spectrum Spools/Bandcamp)

Via Modern Matters:
Belong - its member Turk Dietrich is also part of Second Woman (two albums on Spectrum Spools), and collaborated with Nine Inch Nails and Telefon Tel Aviv - is the shoegaze/experimental/dark ambient duo from New Orleans, somehow further digging since 2006 the sonic path outlined by Tim Hecker, GAS and Fennesz

Their album debut
October Language has been released in CD via Carpark Records in 2006, and in limited quantity vinyl pressing 3 years after via Geographic North imprint. It went sold out immediately and the vinyl became a classic rare gem. Spectrum Spools releases in April October Language in vinyl again, with a new "reimagined album art".

3 exclusive bonus tracks will come with the vinyl purchase, from the ultra rare, self-released
Tour EP sold as a CDr at live shows back in 2006, when Belong opened for Ariel Pink. The bonus tracks won't be available through digital outlets.

The only other, sophomore album of Belong has been put out via an amazing label such as Kranky, known for releasing artists such as Grouper, Jon Hopkins, Deerhunter, Dedekind Cut, Labradford, Loscil, Tim Hecker, Greg Davis and more.

Letters From A Tapehead

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Buys & Receipt: Saccharine Trust, Smart Went Crazy, Charles Mingus, Sun Ra, Glenn Branca, and Joseph Loduca (Evil Dead 2)

Saccharine Trust: "A Good Night's Bleeding"

Smart Went Crazy: "Song of the Dodo"

Charles Mingus: "Hearts' Beat and Shades in Physical Embraces"

Sun Ra and His Arkestra (featuring Pharaoh Sanders and Black Harold)

Glenn Branca: "Lesson No. 1 for Electric Guitar"

Joseph Loduca: "Ash's Dream / Dancing Game / Dance of the Dead"

Letters From A Tapehead

Monday, February 26, 2018

Gotta Read The Labels: Stroboscopic Artefacts

A selection of Italian artists' electro-centric ditties have been amassed into a four-sided new compilation from Stroboscopic Artefacts entitled, Flowers From The Ashes: Contemporary Italian Electronic Music.  While I'm not familiar with the label's roster, it was based on the strength of this Caterina Barbieri composition, "Virgo Rebellion," that I entered this collection onto my wishlist.   

You can listen to this track here:

All of the info on this compilation was provided by Modern Matters.  You can preorder the album here

Flowers From The Ashes: Contemporary Italian Electronic Music

Flowers From The Ashes is the latest multi-artist project to bear the acclaimed Stroboscopic Artefacts imprimatur. There is a sensibility of decadence and corroded grandeur etched within its four album sides, reminding us that historically “decadent” times have nonetheless resulted in some of the boldest acts of individual and collective creativity. Like the “floral” theme that has remained a consistent feature of S.A.’s graphic presentation, the music here equally presents fragility and intensity in a way that really drives home this visual metaphor for good, while still holding out the promise that similar creations will be seeded in the near future.

Though many of the artists involved have set of residence outside of their native Italy, all contribute here to make a captivating portrait of a shared spirit and cultural memory. The album opens with ‘Errori’, deceptively fragile sonic ornaments crafted and suspended in space by Blackest Ever Black artist Silvia Kastel. This is followed closely by the mellifluous, warming glow of percussionist Andrea Belfi’s ‘Spitting & Skytouching’, and then by the resolute electric bass patterns and luminous fog of ‘Lux et Sonus’, from Eeri label head Marco Shuttle. Hospital Productions alumnus Ninos du Brasil open the B-side with a similarly dense, amorphous construction built from tribalistic chants and rhythmic patterns, to be followed by Mannequin label boss Alessandro Adriani’s ‘You Will Not Be There For The End’, showcasing his distinctive take on the “paranoiac breakdance” aesthetic of classic EBM. S.A. veteran Chevel rounds out the first record in the program by interlacing several percolating synth lines together into a richly conversational piece.

The journey continues with ‘Starving The Mind’, an undulating mini-epic from S.A. founder Lucy that is animated by his signature balance of seductiveness and concentration. The bright, biting acid synth tones of ‘PRV-HH3-X’, by Lory D, then takes a sharp right turn into an invisible metropolis ruled by reflective high fashion and hidden intrigue. The imposing architecture of ‘Virgo Rebellion’, designed by modular synth futurist Caterina Barbieri, acts as an excellent companion piece, and sets up the closing ‘4G’ from Spazio Disponibile co-founder Neel – a crepuscular serenade that accurately sums up much of the foregoing activity.

A1 / 1. Silvia Kastel - Errori
A2 / 2. Andrea Belfi - Spitting & Skytouching
A3 / 3. Marco Shuttle - Lux Et Sonus
B1 / 4. Ninos Du Brasil - Noite Atrás
B2 / 5. Alessandro Adriani - You Will Not Be There For The End
B3 / 6. Chevel - Friends Electric
C1 / 7. Lucy - Starving The Mind
C2 / 8. Lory D - PRV-HH3-X
D1 / 9. Caterina Barbieri - Virgo Rebellion
D2 / 10. Neel - 4G

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