GNOD – Infinity Machines

Bit obvious, really. To be honest, I was secretly hoping it was going to be a bit of a letdown… no chance.

a3393023699_16It does take some listening, though. Even taking off the 38-minute bonus live recording that I got for pre-ordering, it will account for a large portion of your evening, assuming you want to listen to the whole thing in one go.

Interesting aside: I don’t have a vinyl player nor the means or practicalities for getting one. If I did, I would certainly consider buying the vinyl, and then I would probably be happier to play the album in chunks. Has anyone else found that whereas they used to happily play one side of a vinyl album, they now think that they have to play the full tracklisting when it’s on CD or MP3?

Back to the album: it is relentlessly ambitious, the sheer range of music contained therein is enormous; everything from Albert Ayler style free jazz to harsh noise, industrial beats, dubby breakdowns… oh, and the occasional blast of psych-rock too!

That 38-minute bonus track? It’s actually my favourite thing on there. It’s not the only piece on the album to make me think of my own personal favourite jazzy artist (Valerio Cosi, if you haven’t been paying attention) but remind me of him it does.

and any band who call one of their best, most epicest tracks ‘White Priveleged Wank‘ have to have your respect. They certainly have mine.

This album is so good it might even challenge the awesome Hey Colossus for best release of the year (I said ‘might…’).

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Hey Colossus

There is a theory that has some currency within the occult blogosphere that suggests that such things as divination, and indeed, successful enchantment, stem from an ability to make contact with your future self. There is no one definitive link that I’m aware of, but here is a good place to start.

I have a longstanding very dear friend, who I, not often enough, have long chats about music with. Of late, he has recommended this very group of noisemakers and indeed it was after a chat/email with him that I went and listened to their new album on Bandcamp (this is why I love that platform so much, and find myself bemused by people who don’t use it to its potential, artists only allowing you to hear two tracks for example. Selling albums by one or two tracks only is a dead business model! Dead! Make your whole fucking album awesome!). The name Hey Colossus was not unknown to me; I have a copy somewhere of Hey Colossus and the Van Halen Time Capsule which I do like, but have to be in the mood for.

hcThe first time I listened to In Black and Gold, I was at work but I nonetheless enjoyed it. But what really stuck in my mind was a sensation of just how much I was going to enjoy this in listens to come. I felt a marvellous, yes marvellous, anticipation. So I bought the download, and then forgot about it, which was a bit silly.

I then had a dose of man-flu with bonus sinus-migraines which I’m still shaking off a month later but at its worst I barely listened to any music at all, with the exceptions of Dahga Bloom and Big Blood. Recently starting to feel a bit better, and treating myself to a computer game that I can get completely lost in, I queued up a load of music last Friday night for a bit of a sesh. At about midnight, music comes on that I don’t recognise. Song after song, each better than the last, hypnotic, pulsating, loud, heavy, riffmungous: eventually, I have to turn off my game to see who it is, and hey presto, ’tis Hey Colossus. I had even forgotten that I’d queued it up.

It’s since had a nightly play, me and In Black and Gold can be said to be having a most torrid affair (sorry if you thought you were the only one, but we’re in love!)

But I also find myself wondering if I somehow, in that marvellously weird anticipation, tuned in to just how much that half an hour before I gave in and looked at the artist was going to blow my mind. Also, would it have had the same effect if I’d just played the album whilst surfing tinterwebs and therefore not in the dark about the artist? ‘What if’ questions are, of course, pointless. You only have what actually happened.

And what actually happened blew my mind.

Puffy Areolas

It wasn’t until I started looking into doing this post that I found out what the non-band version of puffy areolas actually are…

PuffyAreolaspicCA22956629

I first mentioned these as a reference point for the wonderfully hectic Narcosatanicos (who have another release out! Guess what I’ll be checking later…). I read somewhere that Puffy Areolas date back to the beginning of the 1980’s and were apparently contemporary with Black Flag, but I cannot find where I first read that so my memory may be playing up – I have a feeling it was in one of the ‘listed’ features that dusted magazine do. They seem to have been active fairly recently according to their Facebook page (ugh! I feel dirty linking to that site), but I’m buggered if I can find any history of the band anywhere on t’web. And if you look at when their wonderful records were released then it may just be a back story, or I may just have a shit memory. Although I can see no logical reason why their two albums would have 1981 and 1982 specifically mentioned, unless they did date from that time.

Does anybody out there have enough info to put me out of my only-just-noticed misery?

Regardless of the above, I just love love love this music, so I don’t really care when it was made. However, the best description I’ve seen of it is here so I shall not try and compete with that. Just take what he says as the gospel truth.

The above pics are from their Hozac records page and their LastFM page.

Narcosatanicos

As will no doubt become apparent to the more regular reader that may find their way here, my philosophy of attempting to describe music using words is broadly the same as my philosophy of describing anything that isn’t words using words – it can only ever be a guideline at best. Part of this minimalist approach to music ‘reviews’ is inspired by Tiny Mix Tapes and other such sites – why not just submit your work to the International Journal of Cultural Studies and be done with it? Quoting French philosophers is simply a way of saying you don’t know how to describe something. As is inventing new genres so that you can seem like an authority on something (I’m looking at you, Vaporwave).

So, to the point then: I really, really, really like this album by this band. It is loud, it is aggressive, it is repetitive, and it is not for the faint hearted. It has a saxophone in the mix which really works and makes me think the word ‘skronk’ even though I have no idea what it means. It always makes me feel energised and positive after listening to it, which you may not necessarily think from something that tries to describe itself as being the aural documents of a bad trip.

Nearest reference point that I can think of – Puffy Areolas in discussion with Monoshock. What?

Guess I can feel at least two more future posts coming on…