Dead Sea Apes – Recondite

recondite

Tomorrow has broken down. Please wait with today until tomorrow can be repaired. Yesterday is currently closed for refurbishment, and cannot be opened at present. Please remain with today until tomorrow is open.

Where is my universe? I asked. Exactly where you left it, came the reply. Only it’s not there, that’s a different universe entirely, said I. Are you sure? I was asked. But it looks the same, was insisted. Oh, it’s not, quoth I, I know my universe when I see it. But what’s the difference? Oh, no difference. It’s just not the same universe. It might look the same, it might have the same constituent parts…
…but try getting in it.

 

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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.

Sargent-Major Waffle

Or: here are some things that are not albums, or maybe they are.

athalcSo, we likes Hey Colossus, we do. And earlier this year they did something right out of the 90s, they released a single backed with 2 ‘remixes’ (strictly speaking, ‘versions.’) And what versions they are – the version of In Black and Gold is like a deconstructed drum’n’bass / free improv mashup, whilst the 11 minute re-take of Wired Brainless is pure repetition bliss, with added electronic noises (I can’t tell whether some of the added noises are vocals that have been very harshly treated).

Oh, and the actual single track isn’t half bad either. Go here and listen.

Rise of the Echo Drone seem to be largely doing Ep’s. Since I last mentioned them, another couple have hit the wires and they are definitely worth checking out. sotdThey seem to have camped in a field which touches on psych, shoegaze, dreampop, electronica, tribal rhythms, that 90s techno that included people like The Orb, and sensual vocals. Needless to say, I’m a bit hesitant of trying to reduce them to one sonic label. I also want to draw your attention to this track off one of the ep’s for two reasons – Milo used a shorter excerpt of the same Lennon speech on the second Patterns of Faith album (which I can’t currently link to because it’s no longer available anywhere), and secondly because seriously, listen to what he is saying. It is really very simple, a bit scary, and very liberating.

nunsValerio Cosi seems to have dug out many collaborations and older works for his Bandcamp. You won’t like everything unless you happen to like every single instance of recorded sound, anywhere, ever, or maybe I’m just narrow minded. My favourite is the split single he did with Fabio Orsi (their collaborative album is also worth your time). Sadly he has yet to put up Heavy Electronic Pacific Rock – maybe he is not at liberty to. One of the greatest albums ever made, that is, to this mind, but if you like that kind of mind-bending psychedelic-jazz  featuring saxophones with tribal rhythms – and who doesn’t? – then you’ll also want to check out Pulga Loves You.

iiiAlso, Rakta.  When I first typed this paragraph, I typed ‘They have also not yet done another album but have put out some songs.’ So I go to do the links, and the page for III – which was roughly two songs long when I bought it –  now describes what is either an album or a long EP. Ditto, Intencao had one track and now has two, and there’s Rakta em Transe as well. Odd marketing. However, the Rakta energy is still very much present, and they still tag their cavernous sounding tribal post-punk as ‘World Music.’ Love it.

 

zeissElectric Moon – two and a half hours of live psychedelic jams. Technically it’s an album, yes. You are no doubt different to me, but I am unlikely to listen to it all in one go, because two and a half hours, and that’s why I’m not treating it as an album. Anyway, I didn’t write this post to be argued with. Just go and listen to it. Whilst I’m on the subject of Electric Moon, bass player and graphic designer Komet Lulu put out this song, and this also comes with a hearty Soundbergs recommendation.

mnmlsAlso, when I did the Menimals post, I mentioned that there may be another album with the same title and opening track and yet be a different beast altogether? That there is. It is also very, very good, and I invite those of you who enjoyed the first of their self titled albums to go and listen to the second.

Little tidbit – I did my first ‘general chat‘ type of post on July 28th 2015, the second one not long after. This here third instalment is brought to you by July 29th 2016. This was not consciously intentional. I wonder if it’s a time of year thing?

Scroll Downers – Hot Winter

scrolldownersSometimes 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.

Hey Colossus (again!)

rsh-sleeve Oh, the oh-so predictable fan boy is bound to post about his favourite band’s new album…

So anyway, the thing is out imminently. However, I went to see them play last week, which was a truly mighty and groovy experience even allowing for Tim Farthing blowing up his guitar amp and having to borrow one for the remainder of the set, and I thus scored myself the new CD. And new CD has been played daily since.

Their website also links to a stream of the new album, but I don’t know how long that’ll be up for.

Although it isn’t quite as good as In Black and Gold (what is? not a lot, that’s what), it do have some mighty fine music on here, it do. Album highlight (for me) is Hop the Railingswhich makes me think of Circle going post-punk. Also doing serious time in my head has been Numbed Out  and Another Head. It’s a generally more up-tempo record, and the increasingly cleaner production does foreground the interplay amongst the guitarists with a clarity that hasn’t been heard before, although at some cost to their heaviness (this can be compensated somewhat by playing the thing uber-loud). When they do slow things down, they’re reminding me of Earth’s recent stuff.

Let’s hope this small wave of incredible goodwill they’ve noticed becomes a large one, especially if it means they’ll make more music. However, there is no need to completely abandon absent mindedly clanging off more riffathons. Rigidity has its place (in corpses, and here may be the germ of a new macro-series), but it’s a tool, not a paradigm.