Abronia – Obsidian Visions / Shadowed Lands

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In the first place was the winner of the people chase, a lank haired fox named Orville, who won because of the magic imparted by his evil anvil. Orville, who counted several devils amongst his drinking accountants, promptly took his previous second best certificate and rolled it into a ginormous reefer which hit him harder than his hammer and he had to put it down. The people got away again, thus setting up a new race, this one won by His Majesty Gumley St. Helene-Trouser Slew, whose corpulent incompetence was passed through the ages to a present that neither knew nor cared as now is the time and cares nothing for tradition because tradition is history and history doesn’t exist. So the people got away again, the shackles giving up in a wimp of smoke and this time the moguls went after them – by this and by that they did keep gesticulating, transforming life into matter and then selling it as the status they craved. But the moment ignored them – after an enlightening experience it takes long persistences of abuse to make one forget that light but it only takes one instant flash to undo all that damage and see all the abuse for what it really was.

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Plastic Crimewave Syndicate – Thunderbolts of Flaming Wisdom

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So, you were in the mind of God? Did you actually talk to the Big G?

Well, She popped in for a bit while we were there, before the main tour, but there were quite a few of us and, whilst She looked at all of us and would therefore have Known Us, She didn’t speak to me directly or anything, just addressed us as a whole…

And what did G say?

Well, nothing specific. Just, you know, that we all have many gifts and faculties and to make sure we use them all at their proper time and use them naturally but She didn’t specify what counts as ‘natural.’ But, yeah, as a spiritual experience, it was one worth doing. I’m glad I experienced that. Well worth the travel and accommodation costs. I gave it good feedback on the customer survey.

All explanations are temporary

 

Narcosatanicos – Body Cults

bodycultsI’ve been looking forward to this, having been properly into their debut, so much so that they’ve been one of the few acts I check in on every now and again to see when something might be coming. This does not disappoint me, being more of the same but more so, and also a bit different. It is continuing proof of my conviction that the merger of brass and heavy guitar freakouts is a thing of great beauty.

I referenced Monoshock and Puffy Areolas first time up, and they still hold true. But I would also add a strong Stooges groove, occasional Hey Colossus sludge, an occasional veer into Bad Seeds-esque territory and they sound familiar with Swans recent work.

In other words, it is loud and it is aggressive, it is not for the faint hearted, and, oh yeah, I really, really like it. Also, it was available to buy a week before the date on the page, because that’s when I bought it.

 

 

Evening Fires

Another result of somebody else’s year end post.

They actually released 2 albums, the second of which you are not allowed to buy digitally, although you can buy it on CD, which is a digital format, and they only allow you to hear one song from it… would love to know what the thinking is behind that.

Whereas the album Where I’ve Been is Places and What I’ve Seen is Things is available in a more easy to please Flipdog manner, and is very good. It ticks all the right boxes, most important of which is I don’t know how to describe it. Rural psychedelia? I’ve seen someone use that. Meandering? I think I’d prefer exploratory. Chilled? Yes. Though not always.

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I love how after ‘Roll Away the Stones’, which is a kind of ‘typical’ jam band affair, we get a curveball in the shape of ‘We Cast Our Lot With the Waves’ which is very atmospheric and seems to feature wind very heavily (though maybe synths too), and has a very Parson Sound feel when they go Glyptotec. And each song has a different focus. The whole album is wonderfully diverse yet very coherent.

Also, they give good title.

Of course, the other album may be too, but I can only hear one piece from it and frankly it didn’t grab me. I bet it would work in the context of the rest of the album.

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…’).

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…

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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.

Valerio Cosi

From his Soundcloud page: “Italian unpredictable polyinstrumentalist/composer working in the realm of psychedelic rock, free-jazz and electronic music since 2005.”

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The particular album of his that I return to again and again is 2008’s ‘Heavy Electronic Pacific Rock,’ though I have time for all of the music I’ve heard by him. The album in question is just the most entrancing, hypnotic collection of music I’ve had the privilege to hear. ‘Study for saxophone and electronics,’ the 20-minute opener, starts with a repetitive sax riff, which gets transposed, altered, added to and harmonised over with such imagination; it is both spacious and dense, a fully formed sonic entity which is probably more conscious than I (which is why, like all conscious living beings, it can be aware of and embrace its paradoxes without imploding). It is a guaranteed portal into another realm, should such imaginative excursions be to your liking.

The three following tracks are equally brilliant, although each one is unique stylistically, as different from each other as they are from my overly mystical description of the first track. I cannot praise this stuff highly enough.

Unfortunately, I’m not having much luck finding a page where you can listen to the album so you can see whether you agree with me or not, a problem I expect to find with the older releases I suppose. If I had the money and/or time, I would set up a digital library where you could listen to all this stuff (indeed, all stuff). As it is, there are probably other ways that the more imaginative and free-spirited amongst you can try to get a listen.

He seems to have been active again relatively recently, as he now has a bandcamp page, and now I’ve seen this I know what I’ll be listening to later. I make no secret of my love for this platform, primarily because you can listen to an entire album before committing to buy it. It’s the ultimate marketing tool for people whose music is good!