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.

 

 

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The Final Age

finalage

I sold my halo. It broke the ice at parties, yes, but otherwise it was subsequently a hindrance.

Open systems in disguise as closed systems.

How did you cure those lunatics?
I let them run the asylum…

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).

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…’).

Föllakzoid

a3072133502_2I dunno if it’s just me, but I’m beginning to get a bit concerned about bands not having a standalone website. I mean, the top hit for the wonderful Föllakzoid was their bandcamp page. The first two pages in the search engine are mostly reviews. Although there is this, but the ‘this’ I mentioned takes me to a page that flashes and does nothing else…

Probably this is a rant for another time, though.

So, I like Föllakzoid’s new album, III, very much indeed, and it seems I’m not alone from the reviews I found.

It’s a very atmospheric groove they’ve got going on. I actually think the kosmiche/krautrock labels I’ve seen applied to them sell them a lot short. I mean, sure, they probably would rock a jam with Gunter Schickert or Ash Ra Tempel, but they’ve definitely got their own thing going on here too. I have, however, yet to hear their first two albums, so I may be missing some context. I will no doubt get round to listening to said albums soon; I’ve had a veritable cornucopia of wonderful music of late, so fitting it in can be my favourite kind of problem.

And that was before GNOD released their new epic…