2020 Playlist — Masma Dream World, Happy Place, METZ, Orochen, B R I Q U E V I L L E, Vatican Shadow, Susanna, ADULKT LIFE

Good evening, 

I heard some good songs today. The coffee intake was high as I was sunk into my headphones this afternoon, finding comfort in the fact that I was able to simply cancel out all unwanted stimuli in favor of tunes aplenty. My ears perked up for the following:


Masma Dream World: "Theta"
(via Clandestine Label Services / Northern Spy Records / Bandcamp)

Play At Night releases 9/25/20

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via Clandestine Label Services
Masma Dream World—the solo recording project of multi-disciplinary artist/healer Devi Mambouka—today shared the lead single "Theta" from her forthcoming full-length, Play At Night, releasing September 25th, 2020 via Northern Spy Records. Devi (pronounced day-vee) provides insight on the track, which is releasing the day after Gabon’s Independence Day (August 17th): “From age 0-7, the human brain is in “theta,” a state during which our minds can be programmed to believe anything. I became quickly aware of that programming growing up in the African country of Gabon, where, despite its Matriarchal roots, young girls are groomed to be wives and mothers only—there are no other options.” Mambouka wanted to create an anthem for these young girls, which developed into the otherworldly trip-hop song “Theta,” driven by a deep sub-bass and kick drum. The lyrics, which are heard both forward and in reverse, translate to: “We are girls from central Africa. We are Gabomas!” Gaboma refers to a young hip Gabonese girl. As with the rest of her debut album, the music is designed specifically to awaken one’s power source from within.


Happy Place: "Illuminations"
(via Exit Stencil Recordings / Bandcamp)

Tendrils releases 10/9/20

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via Exit Stencil Recordings
The band’s line-up comprises vocalists Elaine Lachica (New York Collegium, Early Music New York) and Charlotte Mundy (TAK ensemble, Ekmeles); guitarists Andrew Smiley (Empyrean Atlas, Will Mason Ensemble) and Dan Lippel (International Contemporary Ensemble); and drummer Kate Gentile (Phalanx Ambassadors, Miles Okazaki) in addition to Mason on drums and electronics.

On album opener “Illuminations”, a bracing introduction finds the guitars tuned in 1/4-tones over an irregular tom-tom beat. After a frenetic solo from guitarist Andrew Smiley, vocalists Lachica and Mundy conclude with a forlorn, lilting melody. On “Tarnish,” Mundy sings of desiring decomposition. At 5:20, she gasps in a high register:
“I want to be dried grass / thirsty and underfoot / I am of the mud / I gift my thorny fists to the dirt.” The song concludes with Mundy shouting “admire! admire!” until subsumed by clangorous guitars.


METZ: "Hail Taxi"
(via Sub Pop / YouTube)

Atlas Vending releases 10/9/20

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via Sub Pop
Today METZ shared the video for the second single off Atlas Vending, “Hail Taxi.” If METZ’s current mission is to mirror the inevitable struggles of adulthood, they’ve successfully managed to tap into the conflicted relationship between rebellion and revelry with the song’s tactics of offsetting their signature bombast with anthemic melodic resolutions. “‘Hail Taxi’ is about looking back. The lyrics deal with the idea of reconciling or coming to terms with who you were and who you've become,” shares frontman Alex Edkins. The stunning video, directed by A.F. Cortes, heightens these themes and expertly captures the same intensity as the alternately brutal verses and beguiling choruses of “Hail Taxi.” Of the video, Cortes says, “I wanted to tell a simple story that captures the song’s overarching theme. The idea of longing for the past creates many visual motifs and I wanted to create a piece that feels timeless and conveys a sense of isolation, highlighting that while we can hide our feelings, we can’t run from them.”

Atlas Vending, the band’s most dynamic, dimensional, and compelling work of their career will be released on October 9th. Bolstered by the co-production of Ben Greenberg (Uniform) and the engineering and mixing skills of Seth Manchester (Daughters, Lingua Ignota, The Body) at Machines with Magnets in Pawtucket, Rhode Island, Atlas Vending, the band’s fourth full-length album, sounds massive, articulate, and earnest. 


Orochen: "Burial Mounds"
(via Viral Propaganda / Suicide Records / Bandcamp)

Thylacine EP releases 9/18/20

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via Viral Propaganda
Orochen is more than a band, it´s a collective with the purpose to always refine and develop their novel sound. A new member in Suicide Records family, Orochen will now release their third EP titled “Thylacine” that shows a band sounding stronger than ever.

The backbone of Orochen’s music is based on dark contemplations of a world where humans and the environment are thought of as economic resources. A society formed under a new religion that most of us know as capitalism, a religion that alienates people from the natural psychological mechanisms shaped by evolutionary processes over millions of years.

The band’s musical influences comes from a rich blend of genres such as modern Americana, indie, folk music, sludge, hardcore and early 00’s post rock that really gives the band a truly novel sound.


B R I Q U E V I L L E: "Akte XIII"
(via Earsplit PR / Pelagic Records / Bandcamp)

Quelle releases 10/2/20

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via Earsplit PR
The contemporary Belgian heavy music scene continues to spawn some truly enigmatic bands, and B R I Q U E V I L L E - the spaces between the letters are indeed part of their moniker - are among the most intriguing and compelling of them all. The meditative heaviness of their sound and the careful engineering of the visual aspects of their mesmerizing live performance rituals are awe-inspiring and challenging in equal measure.

Following 2017's dazzling instrumental opus II, the Flemish five-piece finally return with their third studio album,
Quelle, one of the first real pandemic-albums to be released on Pelagic. The band members had to finish the album in separation, which worked out better than they had initially expected: the forced distance allowed them to distance not only from each other, but also towards their own song material. Some pieces grew larger than originally intended, others were stripped down to the essentials and reinvented. The end result is a staggering album that is sophisticated and smothering at the same time, made up of altogether shorter songs as compared to the previous release, and there is a more prominent focus on those tasty electronics, which have always been an integral part of
B R I Q U E V I L L E 's sound.

The album is also the first one with an album title: "Quelle" means "source" in German and "which" in French. Issues the band,
"We strongly feel that this record keeps all the ingredients of previous records and explores them further than we ever did before. The theme of a 'source' and the 'which' linking it reflexively to our previous album artwork gave us the feeling that we stayed true to our original concept, music, artwork and clips; water and sand as a source of life and death; how an isolated soul deals with these elements."

Quelle shows that B R I Q U E V I L L E individually and collectively have a big heart for the gritty, dark, psychedelic, heavy, and other-worldly, as much as a love for beauty and melody. It's a soundtrack to the pandemic, written and recorded not before, but during isolation - and a testimony that isolation can spawn the greatest creativity.


Vatican Shadow: "Rehearsing for the Attack"
(via Earsplit PR / 20 Buck Spin / YouTube)

Persian Pillars of the Gasoline Era releases 9/18/20

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via Earsplit PR
20 Buck Spin presents "Rehearsing For The Attack," the lead single from Persian Pillars Of The Gasoline Era, the anxiously awaited new LP from Dominick Fernow-created project, VATICAN SHADOW.

For a decade now, VATICAN SHADOW, one of the many guises of Dominick Fernow has blurred the lines of rhythmic industrial, ambient and soundscapes to weave throbbing frontline communiques of war, terror, media manipulation, and anxiety disorder. One of the most prolific underground artists of the 21st century, living his art down to minute detail, Fernow's penchant for seamlessly spanning underground subcultures finds VATICAN SHADOW now aligned with 20 Buck Spin for the first time.

Persian Pillars Of The Gasoline Era, the deconstruction continues, with layers of collaged synth stabs, low end pulsing dread, and ominous sand-swept melodies. And where VATICAN SHADOW often sets a rigid musical focus with each release, here the full multi-faceted embodiment of the project comes to fruition from hypnotic dance floor repetition, cold metallic percussion, martial bass strikes, and dark melodic noise.

To further intensify the album, Fernow brought aboard Justin Broadrick (Godflesh, Jesu, JK Flesh) for the painstakingly detailed mastering process, adding the mysterious vibrance of cold morning mountain light that presages a conspiracy about to unfold. The album is completed with photography by Anonymous Soldier.


Susanna: "Longing for Nothingness"
(via Stereo Sanctity / SusannaSonata / YouTube)

Baudelaire & Piano releases 9/11/20

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via Stereo Sanctity
With her new album 'Baudelaire & Piano' set for release Sept 11th via SusannaSonata, where Susanna has used 10 poems by Charles Baudelaire (1821-67) from his masterwork The Flowers of Evil (translated by Anthony Mortimer) as the backbone for the project, Susanna is sharing the third single from the record with new track "Longing for Nothingness".

Speaking about the track, Susanna said "
'‘Longing for Nothingness’ is such a melancholic statement - the true feeling of hopelessness described with beauty and viability” Susanna says. “The power of these words actually gives me yearning to live instead of giving up. And last but not least, it’s my whistling debut.”

Recorded at Atlantis Studio in Stockholm, the album is a complete solo effort by Susanna, stripped back to just her expressive, soulful voice and skeletal, trancelike piano playing.


ADULKT LIFE: "Country Pride"
(via Stereo Sanctity / What's Your Rupture? / YouTube)

Single Purchase*

*Those who download “County Pride” from Bandcamp will also receive the first of three fanzines, which the band intend to “try and recapture the feelings not just in rediscovering music but all the other crucial elements that go alongside it, the passion to share and scrutinise and play poetically with brut force and argue.” More info HERE.

via Stereo Sanctity
Today, Huggy Bear’s Chris Rowley, Male Bonding’s John Arthur Webb and Kevin Hendrick, and drummer Sonny Barrett announce their new collaboration, Adulkt Life. In conjunction, they announce their signing to What’s Your Rupture? and present their debut single, "County Pride.”

Huggy Bear led the UK’s answer to riot grrrl, inspired by the “seismic shock” of witnessing a Nation of Ulysses performance together and galvanized by Bikini Kill drummer Tobi Vail’s germinal riot grrrl zine “Jigsaw.” In the 25 years since Chris Rowley played with iconic Huggy Bear, starting a new band hasn't felt right. But after John Arthur Webb (Male Bonding), who Rowley met while picking up records at a Rough Trade shop, asked if he wanted to play music together it
“suddenly it felt super exciting.” Years later, Webb and Rowley befriended a then-teenage drummer, Sonny Barrett, now 23, who worked at a different Rough Trade location. After a mysterious letter from Rowley arrived for Sonny at the shop, Sonny finally decided to check out Huggy Bear, promptly offering to drum in Adulkt Life. The Adulkt Life lineup was finalized when Webb enlisted his best friend and longtime collaborator, Kevin Hendrick—who has in recent years turned towards solo industrial noise poetry as Middex—on bass.

Now, working with these musicians and their combined perspectives, Rowley makes a striking return. The need for change that Huggy Bear sought is no less relevant today - Adulkt Life inquires but offers no easy answers, instead instigating punk’s eternal invitation to see:
“Wow, I should do something—make something, start a political party, just do something rather than not do something.” Their debut single, “County Pride,” offers a first taste of their frenetic sound. It brings together three generations of punk energy, creating a timeless sense of urgency.

"Early in Adulkt Life songwriting we wanted to make a song like Devo - something herky jerky with a future disco swing for a party crowd - but we were all too angry,” says Rowley. “The song is about the need to escape from hostile small town awfulness and the weird ways you choose to get out. It’s a dark ride with sparky edges through small town/new town bid for blood... Adulkt life haven't learnt to be flippant yet just flipped out ….Ricochet and rockblast vs racism."

Letters From A Tapehead


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