Marlene Ribeiro ~ Negra Branca – N.B. + Touched

This was in my Bandcamp wishlist for years, literally. I finally bought it a couple of months back after playing it again, and it has done seriously hard labour on my speakers since then.

I want to type the phrase ‘Marlene used to be in Gnod’ because I haven’t seen her listed on their more recent stuff. BUT – you listen to Faca do Inberno on this here album, and then you listen to Faca de Fogo from Gnod’s recent collaboration with João Pais Filipe and you tell me that the one isn’t a proto-type for the other. Go on. Can’t do it, can you? So maybe she’s still in Gnod.

Nova Express – Twenty One

I have a colleague at work with whom we discuss music fairly frequently and through each other we have discovered some good stuff over the years, although some of the stuff I’ve tried him on has been a bit hard for him to bear – he described Gnod as Pink Floyd having a bad trip after I played him Tony’s First Communion (one of the best pieces of music ever, imo), and said he’d rather pull his own teeth out than listen to Oneida again.

Anywho, a success story was a band called Appliance, who I’m sure you all remember from the beginning of this cursed millennium. He said to me that he couldn’t believe he’d missed them as he was well into that type of music then and he was familiar with all their contemporaries yet Appliance completely passed him by.

I feel somewhat that way about Nova Express, who I now know to have been around at that time too, though I didn’t then. And whilst I’m not going to claim that my journey into repetition and minimalism was complete by that time, it had certainly started and I’m convinced I would have done the listening equivalent of feasting on this stuff.

Be that as it may, I know it now, and I know it gladly.

Stara Rzeka and M. Takara – Live at CCSP

Both of these gentlemen have visited the ‘bergs before and by rights should probably visit more often but I’m not conscientious enough in doing new posts. Blame it on the new post-editing software which isn’t quite as intuitive as it claims itself to be.

So this release is a recording of a show they did after having only jammed for 90 minutes prior. The music itself is the best kind of improvisational maelstrom, hypnotic as all fuck. If you was down with the recent Gnod & João Pais Filipe collaboration, this may well be your thang.

Gnod & João Pais Filipe – Faca de Fogo

And since we’re talking about dudes who are on it, why don’t we add Gnod to the party?

This is where maelstromic trance goes dark. My only complaint is it ain’t long enough, but I don’t think it ever could be.

I’ve noticed I type less and less words with my posts these days. This can only be a good thing.

Self Help – Grand Hotel Ibis

People who have read this blog before may well have picked up on my long standing tendency to snark at music journalism, like I’m soooo much cooler (which actually I am, though that is irrelevant). (coolness is and always has been a bullshit concept). (concepts are and always have been over-rated). (this is what happens when writing a blog post is roughly the second conscious thing you do one morning after making a cup of coffee because you’ve remembered you actually get to start work a bit later today because reasons).

So anyway, because music journalists, I really didn’t want to like this album, as it contains man from The Quietus. To be fair to The Quietus, they are actually the least objectionable music publication by some distance, and I even read it sometimes. I hardly ever see the word ‘sophomore’ used when describing a ‘second’ album. This is to be encouraged. Also, other things.

Ponder for a moment what sort of mind listens to an album that he really didn’t want to like. Or don’t. Maybe working from home does funny things to you. Or maybe I actually listened because Tesla Tapes, because Gnod, because I just damn well listened to it.

It’s like nothing I can describe, which isn’t actually unusual in that regard. But it’s also brilliant. All four tracks are very different, and they’re all great.

Negra Branca @ Woodland Gathering 2018

I listened to this via The Quietus not long after it happened; only posting now because I’m posting it now.

The reason I listened to her is because she also plays with Gnod. This is not much like Gnod, albeit exactly what are Gnod like? They are like many things.

This put me in a trance, even though I was at work (that’s how I cope). I’ve just deleted several sentences where I tried to describe it. This is why I’ve given up trying to describe music using words.

 

 

Gnod – Just say no…

gnodIn complete contrast to the previous two posts, here we have a whole heap of ‘AAAAARRRRGGGGHHHH!’ aimed right at your face.  And what a fine heap of grumpy-old-man stuff it is, too. Mind you, they’re probably a bit younger than me (I’m 46).

Gnod have made it their recent mission to try and re-politicise the alternative music scene. My own feelings on this are mixed because I have to admit I’ve never seen a tsunami turn back because of protesters on the beach, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t be encouraging people to pull their heads out of their ****book feeds and actually look at the world around them and try to re-engage with other actual people, instead of relying on some commentator you will never meet to tell you that things are actually one way that suits them better than you. Also, people are actually nicer to each other when they talk to each other instead of when they argue on the internet, a pastime which only brings out one thing in people and that is the worst.

It reminds me in spirit of the last great outpourings of political music that I was aware of in the 1990s, particularly around the Criminal Justice Act that came in around that time. One of the main reasons for my mixed feelings is because the discontent from those times was one of the main reasons for Tony Blair, and I don’t believe I need to explain why we don’t want a repeat of all that, now. For all that we decry the current wave of so-called populism, it seems it was alright when he did it. But now I’m going all political and frankly I should leave that to this album, and I’m also giving the impression that I think political music is mistaken when I don’t actually think that at all.

So anyway, musically speaking, this is five tracks of loud done in the way that Gnod do loud, which is to say very well. There is rhythm and groove as is their wont, loud guitars, snarling guitars and vocals, and, er, well. You get the message.

I also wouldn’t be at all surprised if you weren’t to see this on a t-shirt or ten before the year is out.

But whilst we’re talking Gnod, I’ve also just discovered The Somnambulist’s Tale from 2012, which is completely at the opposite end of the sonic spectrum from this and demonstrates just how fucking good they have always been. And did you notice that I asterisked a particular web-resource, but left the word ‘fucking’ uncensored? Have it.

Major Chat (and Lieutenant Gripe)

Actually, I’m going to start with the gripe.

I really want to buy this album. I mean, you’ve just listened to the excerpts right? So now you do too, obviously. The only options I have are vinyl (not possible; don’t have record player or supporting infrastructure) or Itunes only digital download (not possible; don’t have Itunes and don’t fucking want it). I did send a message to the person at Eremite records but he no replied in the two months or so since I did it. There’s loads of other digital shops, why not make it available to them too? Or even make a CD version, I’ll buy those at a pinch.

Grrrrr.

So any suggestions are welcome!

I discovered a new release from the awesome Electric Moon; it’s every bit as good as everything else they’ve done although this time it’s entirely instrumental.

I went to see the mighty GNOD at The Cookie in Leicester. Talk about an awesome immersion of sound! I didn’t recognise anything whatsoever, although there were familiar bits. I don’t know if they’ve reworked material for the ‘stripped down’ 4 piece rock band that they presented us with that night or whether this was entirely new material, and I don’t care. All I know is it was marvellous. So it got me playing them lots again – I’ve rediscovered Full Moon Ritual, and they also released a live CD just after Infinity Machines called Gestalt, which is well worth your listening experience. Also, bass player Marlene releases music as Negra Branca and the first track on this is just brilliant.

I can’t do an update without mentioning Hey Colossus, who have new stuff via split releases. There’s this split with the Hotel City Wrecking Traders and they’ve also done one with White Manna which I’ve not yet bought. And whilst searching for these links I found this, which soon I shall check. Also, they’re playing Leicester at the end of this month and I really want to go.

Updating on previous things I’d discovered and linked before deciding whether I liked, Valerio Cosi made a release that I thoroughly love. There’s a particular track that makes me think he’s got what Swans have been trying to get since their comeback, certainly in intensity. Not for the faint hearted.

And finally, I’ve listened to and loved Follakzoid‘s previous release. It’s just as good as III. I think I really need to check their first two releases now.

Peter Kemp, The World is Yours

Fancy 6 hours of music for a fiver?

I came across this at the weekend when I was searching for a back catalogue of my band of the moment. I haven’t got round to listening yet, 6 hours after all, but for a fiver? Snapped up. And if you go to the page you can view the whole tracklisting (in alphabetical order) and see the story behind the compilation at the bottom.

I know my finger doesn’t exactly reside on the pulse, so there’s very few bands I’ve heard of. But it does include favourites such as GNOD, The Wharves and the aforementioned Hey Colossus as well as the mentioned in passing Goat and a host of bands who I also admire (such as Acid Mothers Temple and Black Shape of Nexus).