Friday, June 30, 2017

Friday, June 23, 2017

TRAX! — Diagnos, Melvins, Dead Rider, Beneath, Blood And Glass, Tobacco

Diagnos: "Walking Down" (via mutante-inc./Control Freak Kitten/Soundcloud)

Melvins: "What's Wrong With You" (via Speakeasy PR/Ipecac Recordings/YouTube)

Dead Rider: "Ramble on Rose (Grateful Dead cover)" (via mutante-inc./Drag City/Bandcamp)

Beneath: "Ephemeris" (via Earsplit PR/Unique Leader/Bandcamp

Blood And Glass: "Punk Shadows" (via Simone Records/YouTube)

Tobacco: "Got Wet in the Bomb Shelter" (via Force Field PR/Rad Cult/Soundcloud)

Letters From A Tapehead

Friday, June 16, 2017

Dälek: "Echoes Of..."

Dälek, paragons of sonic discord and aggressive social critique, are releasing a new album on 9.1 called Endangered Philosophies. This will be the first release the group has put out via Ipecac Recordings since 2009's Gutter Tactics. For "Echoes of…," Dälek's well-honed mode of conveyance remains intact, a mire of agit-tone (apparently sampled from METZ) providing foundation for aggressive, head-knocking percussion and turntable work. "Intellect is mourned by the intelligent/Truths once self-evident/Replaced by vile rhetoric…," MC Dälek laments, a requiem for humanity's ability to think critically and not so quickly fall prey to propaganda.  

Endangered Philosophies is up for pre-order.  You can listen to "Echoes of…" here:

Information regarding Endangered Philosophies, links, and tour dates were provided by Rarely Unable.  


Dälek, the New Jersey-based “hip-hop abstractionists” (FACT) who announced their return to Ipecac Recordings earlier this month along with news of the new album Endangered Philosophies (Sept. 1), preview the ​release with a stream of “Echoes of…”.

With Dälek, the flow has often been usurped by scorched textures, the product of synthetic decay, themes flitting from pungent political rage through to outright Dionysian frenzy. On
Endangered Philosophies, the lyrics are more focused and at the forefront than ever before, and MC Dälek's new experiments with rhyme styles and flow makes for a vital concoction. There's no doubt about it, Endangered Philosophies is a work of guttural catharsis, it is a call to arms, and "Echoes Of..." is a great example of this. Featuring manipulated source material from Toronto based rock band Metz, listen to the track below and check out the lyrics...


Respond to pressure
Viewed by most as lesser
Don't come with fake tears when you chose to play aggressor. Got the strength of ancestors
Compressed in modern form
Ancient text turns to breath when I perform
Fire from these vocal chords!
All these so-called leaders frauds
Spitting lies through weaker (broken) jaws
want us back where we belong
Intellect is mourned by the intelligent
Truths once self-evident
Replaced by vile rhetoric
Content to be your heretic
... i'm surrounded by my derelicts
Forever speak in Dälek
The future? We defining it!
Status quo? Defying it!
The violated violent.
The vilest men corrupt so we refuse to keep silent.

"Endangered Philosophies is Dälek's signature sound pushed in new directions. Re-sculpted to say all that needs to be said today. It is no one element, but rather an amalgamation of the lyrics, sonics, drums, noise, melody, bass, and turntablism,” explains MC Dälek of the new work, which he discusses further in a new Rolling Stone interview. “Endangered Philosophies is a very introspective record about very external forces. This isn't about one listen... it's about your evolving perception when you immerse yourself in the layers of sound and words. Endangered Philosophies is a record about the RIGHT NOW and yet will resonate differently each time it is listened to, in a word....timeless."

Pre-orders for the 11-track album are available now on CD and 2LP Etched Vinyl via:, with digital pre-orders offering an instant download of “Echoes of…”

Live dates:
Aug 18 Club Cafe - Pittsburgh, PA
Aug 19 Double Happiness - Columbus, OH
Aug 20 Mac's - Lansing, MI
Aug 21 Reggies - Chicago, IL (w/ Cult Of Luna)
Aug 22 Mod Club Theatre - Toronto, Canada (w/ Cult Of Luna)
Aug 23 Corona Theatre - Montreal, Canada (w/ Cult Of Luna)
Aug 24 Worcester Palladium - Worcester, MA (w/ Cult Of Luna)
Aug 25 Gramercy Theatre - New York, NY (w/ Cult Of Luna)
October 28 Baltimore, MD Rams Head (Days of Darkness Festival)

“Before Def Jux, before Death Grips, before Yeezus, there was Dälek” (Noisey). Pioneers of alt hip-hop, Dälek features rapper/producer MC Dälek, producer/live electronics Mike Manteca and turntablist DJ rEk. With roots in the mid-‘90s DIY scene, Dälek has consistently released groundbreaking albums, starting with their 1998 debut EP, Negro Necro Nekros, which NME said saw the outfit “deconstruct hip hop” to 2016’s Asphalt for Eden, hailed by Pitchfork for its subtlety and restraint, saying “on Asphalt for Eden, hip hop ascends into the noosphere.”

Letters From A Tapehead

Thursday, June 15, 2017

New Tendencies: "Monday 1"

Matt Nish-Lapidus performs as New Tendencies and his album, Missed Month, will be out July 7th. As a primer for the album, "Monday 1" has surfaced, itself built from an array of low electronic throbs and staccato notes that never quite achieve the harmony needed to create a viable rhythmic loop.  This a relationship meant to crumble, though, the track's more uncooperative elements instigating small but significant bouts of insubordination.  

Missed Month is being released via Forking Paths.

Letters From A Tapehead

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Buys & Receipt: Weather Report, Van Halen, A Place to Bury Strangers, J Dilla, Tangerine Dream, Tom Waits, Cabaret Voltaire, The Fall, John Coltrane & Alice Coltrane

Weather Report
Black Market
Columbia Records
Released: 1976

Van Halen
Warner Brothers Records
Released: 1978

A Place To Bury Strangers
Onwards to the Wall EP
Dead Oceans
Released: 2012

J Dilla
Ruff Draft
Stones Throw
Released: 2007

Tangerine Dream
Firestarter (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)
MCA Records
Released: 1984

Tom Waits
Real Gone
Released: 2004

Cabaret Voltaire
Released: 1987

The Fall
Superior Viaduct
Reissued: 2016

John Coltrane & Alice Coltrane
Cosmic Music
Superior Viaduct
Reissued: 2017

Letters From A Tapehead

Chelsea Wolfe: "16 Psyche"

Chelsea Wolfe's despair is sublime. Inasmuch as it seems callous to luxuriate in one’s sorrow, it’s difficult to hear Wolfe’s vocal in “16 Psyche,” lead single from her upcoming new album, Hiss Spun, and not acknowledge that hers is an expression both powerful and breathtaking. While the added impact of the track’s solid bottom and viscous riffed melody intensifies its resolve, Wolfe brings a considerable amount of vulnerability to the dynamic, her phrases ethereally shrouded and delicate. It’s a thoughtful combination of sounds, aggression a vehicle that Wolfe adorns with something else entirely. This isn’t necessarily a new aspect of her sound: “Dragged Out” from her 2015 album, Abyss, worked similarly in a marriage of brawn and beauty that I found particularly engaging.

Hiss Spun is scheduled to release on September 22nd via Sargent House. All release info, links, and tour dates were provided by Rarely Unable. 



Chelsea Wolfe has announced the release of Hiss Spun, her sixth album, this afternoon, upcoming via Sargent House 22nd September. Additionally, Wolfe has some remaining European dates, and has announced an extensive Autumn tour of North America. A full list of dates is below.

Following her acclaimed 2015 album
Abyss, Hiss Spun is at once dynamic, heavy, and raw. Recorded by Kurt Ballou (Converge), the album was conceived as an emotional purge, a means of coming to terms with the tumult of the outside world by exploring the complexities of one’s inner unrest. “I’m at odds with myself,” she explains. “I got tired of trying to disappear. The record became very personal in that way. I wanted to open up more, but also create my own reality.”

Hiss Spun features prominent guitar contributions by Troy Van Leeuwen (Queens of the Stone Age, Failure) throughout the album, and a guest spot from Aaron Turner (Old Man Gloom, SUMAC) on the song “Vex.”

CD / LP Pre-order:

“What I want is to open up. I want to know what's inside me. I want everybody to open up. I'm like an imbecile with a can opener in his hand, wondering where to begin—to open up the earth. I know that underneath the mess everything is marvelous. I'm sure of it.” - Henry Miller

Digging beneath the mess of the world to find the beauty underneath is perhaps the most consistent theme in Chelsea Wolfe’s expansive discography—a theme that ties together her ceaseless explorations in unorthodox textures, haunting melodies, and mining the grandeur embedded within ugliness and pain. With her sixth official album Hiss Spun, Wolfe adopts Miller’s quest to become empowered by embracing the mess of the self, to control the tumult of the soul in hopes of reigning in the chaos of the world around us. “I wanted to write some sort of escapist music; songs that were just about being in your body, and getting free,” Wolfe says of the album before extrapolating on the broader scope of her new collection of songs. “You’re just bombarded with constant bad news, people getting fucked over and killed for shitty reasons or for no reason at all, and it seems like the world has been in tears for months, and then you remember it’s been fucked for a long time, it’s been fucked since the beginning. It’s overwhelming and I have to write about it.”

Hiss Spun was recorded by Kurt Ballou in Salem, Massachusetts at the tail end of winter 2017 against a backdrop of deathly quiet snow-blanketed streets and the hissing radiators of warm interiors. While past albums operated on the intimacy of stripped-down folk music (The Grime and the Glow, Unknown Rooms), or the throbbing pulse of supplemental electronics (Pain Is Beauty, Abyss), Wolfe’s latest offering wrings its exquisiteness out of a palette of groaning bass, pounding drums, and crunching distortion. It’s an album that inadvertently drew part of its aura from the cold white of the New England winter, though the flesh-and-bone of the material was culled from upheavals in Wolfe’s personal life, and coming to terms with years of vulnerability, anger, self-destruction, and dark family history. Aside from adding low-end heft with gratuitous slabs of fuzz bass, longtime collaborator Ben Chisholm contributed harrowing swaths of sound collages from sources surrounding the artist and her band in recent years—the rumble of street construction at a tour stop in Prague, the howl of a coyote outside Wolfe’s rural house in California, the scrape of machinery on the floor of a warehouse at a down-and-out friend’s workplace. Music is rendered out of dissonance—bomb blasts from the Enola Gay, the shriek of primates, the fluttering pages of a Walt Whitman book are manipulated and seamlessly integrated into the feral and forlorn songs of Hiss Spun.

The album opens with the sickening bang of “Spun”, where a lurching bottom-heavy riff provided by Chisholm and Troy Van Leeuwen (Queens of the Stone Age, Failure) serves as a foundation to a sultry mantra of fever-dream longing and desire. The first third of Hiss Spun—whether it’s the ominous twang and cataclysmic dynamics of “16 Psyche”, the icy keyboard lines, restless pulse and harrowing bellows of Aaron Turner (Old Man Gloom, SUMAC) on “Vex”, or the patient repetition and devastating choruses of “The Culling—all carry the weight of desperation, lost love, and withdrawal. Wolfe’s introspection and existential dread turns outwards to the crumbling world around us with “Particle Flux”, an examination of the casualties of war set against an aural sea of static. White noise is a constant thread through Hiss Spun, with Wolfe finding solace in the knowledge that radio static is the sound of the universe expanding outwards from the Big Bang—a reminder that even dissonance has ties to creation. The electronic thump of “Offering” serves as an ode to the Salton Sea and the encroaching calamities stemming from climate change. The obsession with white noise and global destruction carries over into “Static Hum”, where the merciless percussive battery of Wolfe’s former bandmate and current drummer Jess Gowrie helps deliver the dire weight of a sonnet dedicated to a “burning planet.” By the time the album closes with “Scrape”, Wolfe has come full circle and turned her examinations back inward, reflecting over her own mortality with arguably the most commanding vocal performance in her entire oeuvre.

“The album is cyclical, like me and my moods,” Wolfe says of Hiss Spun. “Cycles, obsession, spinning, centrifugal force—all with gut feelings as the center of the self.” And it’s an album that Wolfe sees as a kind of exorcism. “I’m at odds with myself…I got tired of trying to disappear. The record became very personal in that way. I wanted to open up more, but also create my own reality.”

Every Chelsea Wolfe album is cathartic, but never before has both the artist and her audience so desperately needed this kind of emotional purging. Sargent House is proud to release Hiss Spun to the world on September 22nd, 2017.

Chelsea Wolfe Live Dates:
14/6 Malmö, SE - Babel w/ Christine Owman
17/6 Clisson, FR - Hellfest
19/6 Antwerp, BE - Trix w/ Moon Duo
18/8 Las Vegas, NV - Psycho Las Vegas

North American tour:
28/9 - Santa Ana, CA - Constellation Room
30/9 - Los Angeles, CA - The Regent Theater
2/10 - San Diego, CA - Belly Up Tavern
3/10 - Tucson, AZ - 191 Toole
4/10 - Phoenix, AZ - Crescent Ballroom
6/10 - Austin, TX - Paramount Theatre
7/10 - Houston, TX - White Oak Music Hall
8/10 - Dallas, TX - Kessler Theatre
10/10 - Nashville, TN - Exit/In
11/10 - Atlanta, GA - Aisle 5
13/10 - Chapel Hill, NC - Cat's Cradle
14/10 - Baltimore, MD - Baltimore Soundstage
15/10 - Philadelphia, PA - Theatre of Living Arts
17/10 - New York, NY - Irving Plaza
19/10 - Cambridge, MA - The Sinclair
20/10 - Montreal QC - Le National
21/10 - Toronto, ON - The Opera House
22/10 - Detroit, MI - El Club
24/10 - Chicago, IL - Metro
25/10 - St. Paul, MN - Turf Club
27/10 - Denver, CO - Bluebird Theater
28/10 - Salt Lake City, UT - Urban Lounge
30/10 - Seattle, WA - The Showbox
31/10 - Vancouver, BC - Venue Nightclub
1/11 - Portland, OR - The Wonderland Ballroom
3/11 - Sacramento, CA - Ace Of Spades
4/11 - San Francisco, CA - The Regency Ballroom

* Youth Code will open all North American shows

Letters From A Tapehead

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

TRAX! — Dale Crover, One Master, Slothrust, Pattern Language, Pink Frost, Man Forever, Ex Eye, Caretaker, De La Soul

Dale Crover: "Little Brother" (via Speakeasy PR/Joyful Noise Recordings/YouTube)

One Master: "Will of the Shadow" (via Earsplit PR/Eternal Death/Bandcamp)

Slothrust: "Pigpen" (via Tell All Your Friends PR/Autostraddle/YouTube)

Pattern Language: "Total Squaresville" (via Shameless Promotion/Happy Robots/Bandcamp)

Pink Frost: "Seek and Recover" (via Us-Them Group/Under Road Records/Soundcloud)

Man Forever: "Twin Torches (feat. Laurie Anderson)" (via Thrill Jockey Records/YouTube)

Ex Eye: "Xenolith; The Anvil" (via Relapse Records/YouTube)

Caretaker: "Swallow" (via Mike Mehalick Music Marketing/All Things Go/Soundcloud)

De La Soul: "Drawn (feat. Little Dragon)"(via De La Soul)

Letters From A Tapehead

No Ripcord: Tropical Fuck Storm

Tropical Fuck Storm A Laughing Death in Meatspace Joyful Noise Recordings Released:  10.26.18 No Ripcord review. Sincere...