For about the last week I’ve been obsessed with listening to NTS Radio and not just whatever is live but going back through archives of particular hosts, so much so I even put the app on my phone (which close friends will probably retort with ‘where is Jay and what have you done with him?’). I have mentioned them before but I originally only went there for that one host. I just had this desire one day to listen to dubstep for a while and I only have early Burial stuff so that made me wonder what would happen if I looked around here.
So the final track on this album – all 14 minutes of it – was featured on a show which made me go to this album and check it out. It is far from the only thing that’s happened with, and more posts may follow once I’ve checked out the relevant bandcamps, etc. But the reason I mention that is because – what is not to absolutely love about radio that plays 14 minute experimental tracks? This was far from an outlier, too.
I’m the last person in the world to go around dispensing descriptions. Sebastian Melmoth do experimental post-punk, according to the description on this page though it is a vague pointer at best. Art rock? maybe, whatever that is. That last track I mentioned is a classic but I would have no idea how to describe it. Ambient post-punk maybe. But the E.P. / album is all over the place stylistically. Not sure I can think of a meaningful reference point – at an absolute stretch, maybe one of the tunes reminds me of Faust.
Sometimes you have to order a cassette to buy an album you like digitally.
I like how their tags include both 90’s and Not 90’s. Do they really not have a website?
These have a pleasing energy which matches their intensity very well. Stylistically, I’d say we’re looking at a kind of garagey-gothy-post-punky-sludgey-shoegazey-new wave kind of thing, an admittedly undercrowded field. A couple of the songs have a couple of chords too many for my taste, but hey, I’m not going to tell them how to twang their muse, that’s their own thing.
Most of it’s pretty up-tempo, but they do mix it up nicely. The layered sounds on Runnin’ and Bossin’ especially create a brilliant atmosphere, almost sun-kissed amongst the pounding surrounding numbers.
The most obvious reference point is probably Siouxsie and the Banshees, who I never actually liked. Oddly, Effi Briest from a few years back also reminded chiefly of them, and they also made an album I really liked. Maybe I should try Siouxsie again (know what? I like that song I just linked). I’m also feeling a similiar vibe to what Rakta do. But then they go and surprise you and go all Melvins on the title track.
No, it’s not an order; equally, I shan’t stop you.
My 8 year old son and I have quite different tastes in music for the most part, although he does like some songs that I like, and is in fact more likely to like songs that I like than I am that he likes (in my world, that makes him more open minded than me, regardless of the fact that his range is tiny and limited to chart pop music). However, we do both agree on one thing – Sevenfold by Kiss the Anus of a Black Cat is one of the most marvellous pieces of music in the world. I can’t give you a direct link, it seems, to that song, but I can give you a direct link to this one:
I was aware of the above song from around 2007/08 ish, though I can’t remember how – I think it was from one of those periodic swaps me and my mate did where one of us would take a hard disc round the others and say ‘what should I listen to?’ Doing mix tapes has certainly evolved, eh? Anyway, it was one of my favourite songs in the world, but the rest of the album didn’t much grab me at the time.
Then at the beginning of 2011, I was on the Cold Spring site and discovered they had a £5 meltdown section, to which I duly turned my attention. As most of the acts were completely unfamiliar to me, I was browsing for those that let you listen to a tune or two. I’d got 2 that I decided to buy and decided to allow myself one more when I noticed they had The Nebulous Dreams by this band, and as I really liked that one song, I figured it was worth a punt.
I listened to the album one memorable Monday evening, just after my aforementioned son had gone to bed and I had spent ten minutes enjoying some ‘fresh air.’ Although I had clocked that it appeared to only contain three tracks, I still wasn’t really expecting the epic 15-minute opener Between Skylla and Charybdis, from the screeching noises to the minimalist rhythm to the ecstatic climax. The 9 minute drone of Diptych defied expectations in a different way, and finally Miserere defied expectations even further by being… normal. Well, a very pleasant acoustic song with one of the best little riffs I know.
Their discography is actually all over the map. My personal favourites are the abovementioned, and their first album If the Sky Falls, We Shall Catch Larks which contains that song that me and my eldest are in such agreement about (and also the incredible 19-minute Sighing, Seething, Soothing). It also contains this:
Both albums favour the more long-form approach, with a minimalist, droning thing going on that’s right up my street. There are two slightly more traditional albums in An Interlude to the Outermost and Hewers of Wood and Drawers of Water, both of which contain some great songs but are probably best described as less consistent. Most of their Youtube content seems to focus on this stuff, so browse around if you feel the urge.
Their most recent release, Weltuntergangstimmung, is a complete change of style, kind of dark-wavey gothy with drum machines and things. It’s probably my favourite of their albums that features their shorter songs.
It properly divided their fanbase, though. Kudos to them for having the balls to do that. According to that Facebook page of theirs I linked to earlier (because their website is so annoyingly uninformative), they’re back in the studio, so it will be interesting to see what comes out…
Apparently the band name comes from a medieval witch ritual. I’d be interested to know what that ritual was and what it was supposed to achieve.