Monday, September 28, 2015

Daughter of a Tapehead: KEN mode

KEN mode
Season of Mist
Released: 6.16.15

* Big Black's Atomizer LP is in the background as an Albini homage.  Completely unintentional, but it works I guess.

** "Blessed" is a single from KEN mode's Success that begins the LP.  My daughter was actually confused about the song's title versus the song's mood.  You can check out the song below:

And, yes KEN mode's Success was my Summer jam.  Definitely one of my favorite releases this year.

Letters From A Tapehead

Friday, September 25, 2015

Singles: Goat, The Well, D33J

Goat: "It's Time For Fun" (via Sub Pop/YouTube)

The Well: "Mortal Bones" (via RidingEasy Records/Us-Them Group/Brooklyn Vegan/YouTube)

D33J: "Slow (Low Limit Remix)" (via anticon/Soundcloud)

Letters From A Tapehead

Shopping For Records: Boris/Merzbow & The Body/Krieg

New collaborations were announced this week.  Here are details regarding an upcoming new Boris/Merzbow release, Gensho, as well as an upcoming LP from The Body & Krieg, (apparently being called The Body & Krieg), which I'm positive will provide this Winter with a soundtrack oh so very desolate.  No tracks yet, but they'll be posted once they're made available.

The Boris/Merzbow info was provided by Relapse Records.


Renowned Japanese innovative team BORIS WITH MERZBOW has completed recording a new collaborative full-length LP entitled Gensho, which is Japanese for "phenomenon". Gensho is a unique release featuring over 150 minutes of new music spread across two discs. The BORIS tracks are new reinventions of the band's classic songs, while the MERZBOW songs are new compositions. BORIS and MERZBOW have each contributed exactly the same amount of music, with the two discs intended to be played at the same time on physical speakers at varying volumes so that the listener can experience their own "gensho/phenomenon" every time. The artists also commented, "Of course you can enjoy both albums separately, as a separate work." Gensho is slated for a February 2016 release via Relapse Records.

Though the artists have an extensive history of collaborating with one another, this latest effort was born out of a one-off show in 2014 for Boiler Room TV, when the two acts decided that their set from that day was worthy enough to perform in the context of a proper studio recording. As with every BORIS and MERZBOW release, the only thing to expect is the unexpected. Each artist's individual contribution to Gensho weaves through countless disparate textures with a varied sonic palette, to say nothing of the effect when both records are played simultaneously. The unique presentation of the album lends it near-infinite potential for aural discovery, and encourages direct interactivity with the listener rarely found in such unconventional music. 

BORIS WITH MERZBOW have also announced an exclusive one-off show in Tokyo in support of Gensho this November.


Nov 27 Tokyo, JP Fever


Both BORIS and MERZBOW are well known for numerous collaborative works with a plethora of artists, but have been working together since 1997. They have released three studio albums together (
Megatone, Sun Baked Snow Cave and Klatter), two live albums (04092001 and Rock Dream) and one 12" EP (Walrus/Groon). Musically, BORIS helps to shape MERZBOW’s wall of noise as a composed musical score with structure, and to make it easier to access the noise master’s music while MERZBOW adds an extreme high frequency to BORIS’ signature heavier sound.

BORIS is a Japanese experimental metal/rock band. Currently, the band's personnel consists of drummer-vocalist Atsuo, bassist-guitarist-vocalist Takeshi, and guitarist-vocalist Wata. BORIS takes its name from a song on the Melvins' Bullhead, and released its first album, Absolutego, on the group's own label, Fangs Anal Satan, in 1996. Since then, the band has released 23 studio albums, including Pink, Heavy Rocks and Akuma No Uta, a number of EPs, 7" singles, and full-length collaborative recordings, on various record labels around the world.

Masami Akita, better known by his stage name MERZBOW, is a Japanese noise musician. Since 1981, he has released over 400 recordings. The name MERZBOW comes from German dada artist Kurt Schwitters' artwork,
Merzbau, where Schwitters transformed the interior of his house using found objects. This was chosen to reflect Akita's dada influence and junk art aesthetic. In addition to this, Akita has cited a wide range of musical influences from progressive rock, heavy metal, free jazz, and early electronic music to non-musical influences like dadaism and surrealism. Since the early 2000s, he has been inspired by animal rights and environmentalism. In 2000, Extreme Records released the 50 CD box set known as the Merzbox. Akita's work has been the subject of several remix albums and at least one tribute album. This, among other achievements, has helped MERZBOW to be regarded by some as the "most important artist in noise".

Takeshi (Vocals, Guitar & Bass) 
Wata (Vocals, Guitar & Echo)
Atsuo (Vocal, Percussion & Electronics)

Masami Akita - electronics

All info for The Body & Krieg was provided by Earsplit PR.

THE BODY & KRIEG Self-Titled Collaborative LP Confirmed For November Release Via At A Loss Recordings

The continuing discography of apocalyptic rouge faction, THE BODY, expands once again with its newest anti-human outcry, through collaborative LP with KRIEG, the works having been locked up for official release in November through At A Loss Recordings.

Formed in mid-1990s and late 1990s, respectively, KRIEG and THE BODY met in the mid 2000s, being different sonically but sharing a bleak world view and inspirations musically far outside of the genre standards of metal. When Neill Jameson, the sole founding and constant member of KRIEG, showed up to the recording sessions at Machines With Magnets in Providence, Rhode Island with only an acoustic guitar, a few pedals and a bottle of whiskey, Lee Buford and Chop King of THE BODY knew that the collaboration would be something vastly different from their other recordings.

Written and recorded during the long sessions of THE BODY's
Christs, Redeemers (Thrill Jockey) and I Shall Die Here (RVNG Intl.) LPs, the end result is a blackened industrial crush of noise and anguish. Noise, dirge, triggered percussion with King's screeches and Jameson's growls take the audience to the "Bottom Of The Bottle, Bottom Of The River," the LP's opening track. Continuing through the album's nine tracks, crawling booms, chimes and moans to static plodding low-end and hopelessness moves to industrial tones, accusing roars. Erie keys, wails of misery lead to brief period of sonic chaos and pure madness. Madness leads the listener lumbering down the final path, complete with discordant percussion, electronic beeps, forlorn screams, cavernous blows, and ending in the sounds of otherworldliness, with nearly forty minutes of original material. The artwork for the entire package of The Body & Krieg is completed by the amazingly realistic charcoal drawings and design of Jason Bartell, also of Fang Island fame.

At A Loss Recordings, responsible for the 2010 release of THE BODY's seminal, groundbreaking
All The Waters Of The Earth Turn To Blood LP, the reissue of the band's self-titled debut LP and their Nothing Passes collaboration with Braveyoung, will release The Body & Krieg on November 13th. The record will be issued on multiple formats, including digital platforms, CD, cassette, and LP with digital download included.

Expect both KRIEG and THE BODY to have busy tour schedules throughout the remainder of 2015 and through 2016, including plans for a collaborative tour.

The Body & Krieg Track Listing:
1. Bottom Of The Bottle, Bottom Of The River
2. Carved Out And Caved In
3. Fracture
4. Celebrate Your Shame
5. Never Worth Your Name
6. Gallows
7. A Failure Worth Killing Yourself
8. The Final Nail

Letters From A Tapehead

Baroness: "Chlorine & Wine"

Supported with an upcoming Fall tour, the celebrated post-metal outfit Baroness will be releasing a new album in mid-December called Purple.  I wasn't a fan of their last effort, the 2012 double LP Yellow & Green, but the lead single from Purple, "Chlorine & Wine," has sparked some curiosity.  Baroness falter a bit during the last quarter of the song, which sounds like some unnecessary homage to Queen, but the overall effect is captivating, a gently melodic construct that patiently transitions into its louder moments.  Check out the video below:

Photo credit: Jimmy Hubbard
Purple will be on sale December 18th and is now available for pre-order.  All info and links were provided by Speakeasy PR. 



PHILADELPHIA, Sept. 24, 2015 – Baroness, who recently announced the release of their fourth album, Purple (Dec. 18, Abraxan Hymns), launch their first U.S. tour in support of the ten-song album with a round of intimate performances beginning Nov. 27 at the Ace of Cups in Columbus, Ohio.

“We’ve been off tour for too long,” said John Baizley. “It’s time for Baroness to start playing shows in the U.S. again. We’re doing a short run through the eastern half of the States, in small clubs, getting our new songs stage ready for 2016. Who knows, maybe we’ll even throw in a few songs from the very early EPs and albums. See you soon…”

In conjunction with the tour announcement, the band have unveiled the official music video for “Chlorine & Wine” via their website ( The clip, which was directed by Jimmy Hubbard, gives fans a raw, behind-the-scenes peek into the making of the song, including footage of Baroness writing and rehearsing the track as well as recording at producer Dave Fridmann’s Tarbox Road Studios.

A European outing kicked off the band’s live dates in support of Purple, with slots at both the Reading and Leeds Festivals, saw the first live performance of “Chlorine & Wine.” Baroness also joined Metallica for the Sept. 16 opening at the Centre Videotron in Quebec.

Dates for the band’s forthcoming U.S. tour are listed below, tickets are on-sale now via

November 27 Columbus, OH Ace of Cups
November 28 Chicago, IL Beat Kitchen
November 29 Madison, WI Frequency
December 1 St. Louis, MO The Demo
December 2 Lawrence, KS Jackpot Music Hall
December 4 Oklahoma City, OK 89th Street Collective
December 5 Dallas, TX Double Wide
December 6 Austin, TX Mohawk
December 8 Houston, TX Rudyard’s
December 9 New Orleans, LA Gasa Gasa
December 11 Gainesville, FL 8-BIT Bar
December 12 Savannah, GA The Jinx
December 13 Atlanta, GA The Earl
December 15 Chapel Hill, NC Local 506
December 16 Richmond, VA Strange Matter
December 18 Baltimore, MD Metro Gallery
December 19 Philadelphia, PA Johnny Brenda’s
December 20 Brooklyn, NY Saint Vitus Bar

Pre-order packages for
Purple, which feature an instant download of “Chlorine & Wine” as well as a limited edition colored vinyl version of the new album, two picture discs, t-shirts and other unique items are available now via this link: Digital pre-orders, which also include an instant download of “Chlorine & Wine,” are available via iTunes (, Amazon ( and Google Play (

Yellow & Green landed atop most 2012 year-end lists with Entertainment Weekly awarding the release the #1 spot on their best metal albums round-up and saying “’Take My Bones Away’ hit harder and popped sharper than anything on rock radio in a decade. The double album was similarly lauded by Decibel (#2), Pitchfork (#3), Revolver (#4), Village Voice (#6), Spin (#6) and the BBC (#13).

Baroness is John Baizley (guitar, vocals), Pete Adams (guitar, vocals), Nick Jost (bass, keyboards) and Sebastian Thomson (drums).


Letters From A Tapehead

Friday, September 18, 2015

What I Heard This Morning: Kohoutek

Curious Aroma 
Releases: 11.6.15

I was listening to Kohoutek's Curious Aroma this morning, a mostly free form improvisational piece consisting of two lengthy tracks.  Each track, (dubbed "Part I" and "Part II"), sound based in some personal, meditative journey that (to me) convey realization as opposed to discovery, awareness vs. epiphany.  There's no sudden "eureka;" no predictable or pandering utilization of pay off.  Instead, you're allowed to get lost in its wandering make-up until its overall size becomes known, which is a very gradual process.  "Part I," for instance, reminds me somewhat of "He Loved Him Madly" by Miles Davis, itself a thirty-something minute meditation on the life of Duke Ellington, a free moving establishment of expanse through lost tones and sounds that culminate into a soft rhythmic outro.  By contrast, Kohoutek keeps it loose, opting instead to introduce a buzzing thread from a guitar that runs over the continual play of feedback and mingling guitar strokes. 

For "Part II," however, the mood becomes more dire, the environment a little more stressed.  Random percussion, (with what sounds like an assortment of bottles, pots, cymbals and chimes), adds an already erratic anti-rhythm to an answering group of guitar abstractions.  Eventually, though, the snare drum is found, a stride is gained and experimentalism turns rock n' roll, howling riffs and soloing bleed into each other.  Now, you have an acid jam, which will undergo a few shifts in tempo and carry you through its 24-minute run time.

As Kohoutek have crafted what I consider to be an ambient-improv rock album for jazz heads, I could see fans of Acid Mother's Temple, Bong, Sun Ra's Solar Myth Approach work and Miles Davis' electric period (which bred the aforementioned "He Loved Him Madly" from the Get Up With It LP) digging something like Curious Aroma, though I find it more of an outlet for free form weirdness than volume.  Enjoyable overall.

Curious Aroma will be released 11.6, limited to 350 copies.  I unfortunately have no excerpts to post.  Click here for more info. 

Letters From A Tapehead

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Wolf Eyes: "T.O.D.D."

A new noise jam from Wolf Eyes has surfaced following news of an upcoming release, I Am A Problem: Mind In Pieces.  The album will be out October 30th via Third Man Records and the single, (which you can sample below courtesy of Force Field PR), is “T.O.D.D.,” named for musique concrète composer Tod Dockstader, who passed away earlier this year.  It’s a fairly sinister mix, a snare and/or tom additive occasionally tapped overtop waves of shrill guitar sound, electronics and cycled percussion.  There’s certainly an air of dread to be found.

Info on the release can be found below along with news regarding their involvement with the Trip Metal Fest and some archival releases being issued via Bandcamp.

Wolf Eyes share new track "T.O.D.D.", curating Trip Metal Fest

I Am A Problem: Mind In Pieces out October 30 via Third Man Records 

SoundCloud / NPR

Post-industrial/noise group Wolf Eyes have signed to Third Man Records, and are set to release their new album 'I Am A Problem: Mind In Pieces' on October 30. This week the band shares album track "T.O.D.D.", named after Tod Dockstader, Musique Concrete composer who passed during the album's recording. Stream the track over at NPR and on SoundCloud.

This week also marks the announcement of Trip Metal Fest, an electronic music festival taking place in Detroit on Memorial Day weekend 2016 curated by Wolf Eyes' Nate Young. The festival will showcase electronic music in all its different forms: experimental, industrial, funk, punk, techno and more. More information will be made available here.

Today Wolf Eyes released yet another batch of rarities via Bandcamp. The band is reaching into their vast back-catalogue and releasing five rare digital reissues every month. More info here.

Bandcamp Reissues - Sept 15
LIVE FRYING: Chicago May 28 2004

I Am A Problem: Mind In Pieces

Like it or not: problems are everywhere: waiting dormant under your bed, writhing in the dust in your basement, within the nagging insistence creeping along the cobwebs of your mind growing stronger with every day you forget about them. Problems are at the Wailing Wall - problems are amplified LOUD in a rotten warehouse providing electronic mayhem to Satanic Unveilings: Local and Unlocal. They are the kids in the empty streets in the late august summers with nothing to do but let the antisocial damage fester in their boiling brains. They are the millions of spiders deep in the oceans looking for metal fallen from the skies. They all have one common thread of DNA sprinting thru their misift cells: the soundtrack of WOLF EYES "I AM A PROBLEM."

What is this audio social dissent? Its the newest and hardest-polished latest link in the long chain that locks Bo Diddely inside his homemade nuclear fallout bunker. Its Detroit-Michigan's trio of Nathan Young, John Olson, & James Baljo's trim and s.h.a.r.p follow up to 2013's NO ANSWER: LOWER FLOORS but now the floors are at their lowest point into the mire but strengthend to its strongest foundation of six tracks of uber-sustained moods from the downtown- lights seen thru rotten eyes of the opening track "Catching the Rich Train" to the closer eight minute frozen daylight - draining downer of "Cynthia Vortex." Inbetween these detailed sonic problems you have to climb a "ENEMY LADDER", run from the creature gang known only as the "ASBESTOS YOUTH" only to come face to grim face with the menace only humanly known as "T.O.D.D." The journey will twist and turn into all sorts from-scratch music tuneage which will leave both of your ears juggling with nothing but a concise PROBLEM to deal with: and your mind will be spilled across the sun-soaked concrete slab- jigsaw style IN PIECES.

Wolf Eyes history stretches from 97-to present with over 500 releases into the either of the musical world: with units only normal instrument being a lone GUITAR thru the years: give and take some gongs and blues harmonica,: strings here put thru a John Cipollina- in year 2098 live thru a drag strip filter fuzz -damage direct from Jim Baljo. Nathan Young provides vox & electronics from a woods possessed by a spirit thats both too ancient and too futuristic to gain comfort in its own proto- rural/urban musical environment. Final member John Olson rounds out the soundscape with electronics and woodwinds whose only job title can be known as conjuring "the gut of un-nameable menace" into sound. Here on I AM PROBLEM : the trio are at their peak: relaxed but knife-focused : not a second is wasted on the streamlined atmosphere of scruffy scotch tape-electronics musique' concrete foundation of splatter used to raise up a monument of individualism and idiosyncratic homemade misfired dribbling ROCK AND ROLL: again from the year 2098, with a new messed up misconfigured FACE.

In conclusion: I suggest you sit back, empty your brain gels: and let this PROBLEM sink/rip/boil into your blood stream and witness the WOLF sound molecules fight their rugged way into your world-view/ personal vision and follow the dissonance to the streets to fight your own lone revolution, from scratch: at day one with YOUR MIND IN PIECES.

Tangled Ray
Late Summer 2015

Tour Dates:
11/06 Richmond, VA - Strange Matter
11/07 Queens, NY - Trans-Pecos (record release show)

Wolf Eyes
I Am A Problem: Mind In Pieces
[Third Man Records]
Street Date: October 30, 2015

1. Catch The Rich Train
2. Twister Nightfall
3. T.O.D.D.
4. Asbestos Youth
5. Enemy Ladder
6. Cynthia Vortex AKA Trip Memory Illness 

Letters From A Tapehead

Monday, September 14, 2015

Six Organs of Admittance: "Exultation Wave"

Earlier this year, Ben Chasny (a.k.a. Six Organs of Admittance) issued the Hexadic LP, which was a creative showcase meant to demonstrate a new systemic means of songwriting that Chasny had developed.  I wasn't completely on board with Hexadic, (you can read my review here), so the announcement that there would be a sequel to the album, predictably titled Hexadic II, wasn't met with a ton of elation.  However, listening to "Exultation Wave," the album's first single, I'm wondering if Chasny is applying the same songwriting methodology since this track seems much more thought out and less erratic.   

Check out the track below.

Hexadic II will be released by Drag City on November 20th.

All info was provided by Rarely Unable. 


Sounding forth from a resonating body, the music of Six Organs of Admittance seems to reach us from an ancient remove. Ben Chasny's 6OOA vehicle is a wide-ranging craft, spanning over a dozen albums whose gaze is always shifting, but whose focus never wavers. With Hexadic II, Ben Chasny's unique touch on acoustic guitar is brought back to our ears after what feels like a kind of forever. What may identify to some ears as folk music is caught in an equally compelling undertow of powerful subterranean energy.


Hexadic II is ultimately what the listener hears it to be - a darkly spiritual listen, filtered through their ears and their perceptions and choices. As ever, Chasny has a head-full of ideas that are driving him; Hexadic II simultaneously explores the same charts and paths that gave birth to its predecessor, while creating music of a totally different order. The Hexadic II songs have direct correlation to the Hexadic songs, yet are much more than mere acoustic versions. "Exultation Wave", for example, simmers with an undercurrent of ethereal transcendence, the strings bending under the virtue of Ben's voice. Think of them as distant cousins to the songs on Hexadic, obsessed with greek choir, the desert, and the sea.

Simultaneously more inviting and challenging than
Hexadic, Hexadic II is a powerful musical journey into the enigma of interpretation and inspiration; begin the journey on November 20th.

You can purchase the Hexadic bundle (including cards, instruction book and the first record) via Drag City, and place orders for Hexadic II.

Letters From A Tapehead 

Wednesday, September 09, 2015

JK Flesh: Nothing Is Free EP

Justin Broadrick (Godflesh, Jesu) is releasing a new EP from his JK Flesh project called Nothing Is Free, which will be available for purchase via the "pay what you like" model.  I guess one could shoot for irony and try and pay nothing for the release so as to simply challenge what the title states rather plainly, but that would be really corny and you'd be ripping off the artist.  So far this is a digital only release and you can purchase via the link below.  I myself haven't listened to this yet but, being a fan of Broadrick's other work, I figured this would be worth acknowledgment.  If it sucks, I apologize.

Links and info were provided by Rarely Unable PR.



JK Flesh, the alter-ego of dark industrial pioneer Justin Broadrick (Godflesh, Jesu, Final, Techo-Animal), has just released a new nine-track EP entitled Nothing Is Free via Broadrick's own Avalanche Recordings.

Comprised of a collection of two years worth of material,
Nothing Is Free is available through digital means only on a ‘pay as you like’/donations basis. By donating, you will receive a download of the album in 24 bit audio and PDF artwork. Produced by Justin himself, JK Flesh mutates and moulds techno, industrial, drum and bass, dub, and dubstep styles into something truly filthy and fleshy.


JK Flesh is established as a project in its own right; showcasing a clear but dynamic sound that flows seamlessly. Dark beats, heavy bass and Broadrick’s inimitable guitar and vocal fuzz has been favoured by fans of Godflesh and post-dubstep.


1. Nothing Is Free
2. Hide & Seek
3. Boundless Submission
4. Peace in Pieces
5. Kontorted
6. Pleasurer
7. Offering
8. They Own You
9. Nails

Fans can expect more from JK Flesh on the Electric Deluxe label in spring 2016… 

Letters From A Tapehead

New Selections — DEAFKIDS, Marisa Anderson, Circuit des Yeux, Moaning, Here Lies Man

Some new and not-so-new selections for June.  DEAFKIDS: " Espiral da Loucura " (via Rarely Unable /  Bandcamp ) Via Ra...