Saturday, February 18, 2006

Mp3zzz 2 : Classik Metal
While dude at Aversionline has definitely been doing his part to disseminate mp3s from all over metal and hardcore's history and present, his encyclopedic knowledge of the genres has him championing all kinds of obscure stuff. I'll admit I'm coming to the game pretty late, but maybe my scant knowledge can help me shine a light on some more obvious picks. But don't worry, this'll be the only Metallica mp3 ever.

bathory - equimanthorn
From Under the Sign of the Black Mark. Quorthon was an early champion for a type of metal that didn't give a fuck about recording quality or "skill," just impassioned expression of dark, dark feelings. After others started following his lead, it got called Black Metal, and most of us are familiar with the chaos that ensued, but this vicious track is as good an example as I've heard. The solo at the end warms my noise lovin' heart.
metallica - for whom the bell tolls
That offer to remove any mp3s as requested extends to the RIAA too. In the mean time, this is about as good as it gets. Having first been exposed to Lars and co. through the "Black Album" (I slow danced to Enter Sandman in grade 7), I never cared too much about Metallica. My friend Tom got me heavily into Master of Puppets, but I was under the impression that that album was some sort of an anomaly. I think I read that from Thurston Moore somewhere(so he's been known to misguide).
Of course now they're just Napster hating corporate whores who everyone loves to heap disdain on. Amazing that they've finally lost sight that they built their name on tape-trading and sheer love of the metal. Many seem to share the opinion that it's too bad that it wasn't Lars that fell under the bus.
Ride the Lightning isn't lo-fi by any means, but it ain't no fuckin Bob Rock production either. Metallica went into the studio with the knowledge of how they WANTED to sound, and they made sure they sounded that way. Their pummeling chug delivered hooks the size of Everest. Hard to believe they were still looking for a vocalist with a King Diamond style high pitch wail at the time, Hetfield's gruff delivery was at it's best. Time mar-ches on! If you're wondering why Metallica never wrote songs as concise and powerful as their career trudged on, I'll give you two words: Cliff Burton. Dude's a deity.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Hey hey hey. Gots myself some webspace, there's gonna be mp3 posts now and again. If any artists or labels don't want these up here, e-mail me: dave23xyz at hotmail dot com. Yeah, that's the e-mail.

Also, check the bummer haze: whalley

the dead c - sky
The "cleaner" version from Harsh 70s Reality. The Dead C hit the same poetically blasted mainline that Sonic Youth used to.
wooden wand & the vanishing voice - effigies in dread
In the flurry of truly great WWVV material coming out these days, I'd hate to see this gem go unnoticed. One of their greatest melds of James Toth's song writing and the bands improvisational drift, it's probly my second favourite "song" of theirs, next to Counterfeit Kingdom.

Monday, February 13, 2006

magik markers : a panegyric to the things i do not understand: gulcher
I think that lo-fi's lack of a fully defined sound has helped a lot of bands, like Avarus, taking diverse elements and forming them into a pulsing whole, a more organic sort of creation. After hearing albums like Burned Mind and Dog Jaw from Wolf Eyes, the Slam Section tape helps shine a different light on their sound, re-focusing on their primal brutality as a whole entity. Still, while trying to get a grip on a fairly difficult band whose entire catalogue seems to consist of clutches of poorly recorded live takes, it can be pretty frustrating.
All I'd heard from Magik Markers prior to this album definitely promised that all the praise being heaped upon them was warranted, but was exceedingly difficult to find a way into. The best seemed to be Thee Magik Marquers, which moved from thinly quiet tracks, mostly surviving on Elisa Ambrogio's vocals, to bracing free fire squalls. If you could surrender yourself and embrace the dynamic, the music's peaks were brilliantly overwhelming, but it was quite a commitment. But it's all changed with this one.
Now, every element of the Markers' sound is clear as day, and the clarity is blinding, my friend. Like Dominick Fernow's feedback on Black Vase, hearing every nuance of the free noise spewing out of Elisa's guitar does nothing but increase it's power, and with Leah Quimby's bass and Pete Nolan's drums audible in the mix, their power is fully realised(and so they formed like Voltron). This is no-wave spew ala Mars or Confusion is Sex era Sonic Youth bent through a psychedelic free jazz lens, yet somehow with roots in earlier rock. Even when, after laying down some searing guitar noise, everything opens up into whistling, jabbering, light feedback, and the barest of rhythms, it ain't no airless avant garde wank, and when the guitar starts blatting smears of sound again, it's no surprise. That might be the greatest strength of this album, getting to follow Magik Markers fractured improvisational logic in two side long pieces. Every time you think you're hearing a musical non-sequitur, they bring the fire and it acquits itself. Taken as a whole, it might crack your skull open wider than you expected.
Also, I though it was needlessly pretentious, but look up that p-word and the title is quite nice. Or maybe you just knew it already. I'm real impressed.
Also, the Wolf Eyes/Prurient split is pretty great. Wolf Eyes' The Terror Tank is mixed in a manner that seems annoying at first, but actually gives the effect of being in some sort of a tank while something really awful takes place outside. Weird. Prurient drops more of his eviscerating squall, a little bit lo-fi with sudden dynamics and field recordings thrown into the mix. Dude's the greatest.
Birchville Cat Motel's With Maples Ablaze is sorta disappointing. Molded by Campbell Kneale from a multitude of tape contributors, including Bastard Noise's John Weise, Kemialliset Ystavat's Jan Anderzen, The Dead C's Bruce Russell and Reynols, it's all whiz-bang neato, but lacks the singularity of my favourite Kneale pieces. But I guess that's the point. I think it's just more, er, polite than I'd hoped. Back to my BxC.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Eclipse package
Got a package from Ed Hardy today:
Wolf Eyes : Slam Section cs : Fag Tapes
V/A : Super Street 5 - I Want You to Kill Me cs : Fag Tapes
Aaron Dilloway : Heavy cs : Heavy Tapes
Wolf Eyes / Prurient : The Warriors cd : Hospital Productions
Birchville Cat Motel : With Maples Ablaze cd : Scarcelight Recordings

Just listening to the tapes / recording to minidisc. I downloaded the Street Freaks comp a while back, and I've been jonesing for the Super Street comp ever since. Pengo! Twisted psych-noise with Steve Albini just jamming out some Velvets/Floyd madness. Well, not really, but it's power/psych/doom or something, so freak out already. The Odd Clouds opener is monstrous also, horn damage and power drones swelling into some scary shapes. Heard much ballyhoo bout Raven Strain, and I can't say it gripped me, but I just got the damn thing, right? Fag Tapes = crude, start to finish. The sounds, the recording, the packaging, it's some of the most convinvingly bent stuff going. The Wolf Eyes tape takes the Sub Pop supastarz and puts them back in the grimy, sweat-dripping, mildewed basement, where they belong (but really it's at some club.) Now I have to see if I can get my hands on Super Street 6. Graveyards, Dillo and Roxanne Jean Polise, yeeah.
Dillo's tape is the first Heavy Tape I've gotten my hands on, (tapes!!!) and I can see why they're so coveted. I've been peeping Maya Miller's art at the website for a while now, but to hold this psych gross-out in my hands is something else. The post Wolf Eyes travelogue blow-out is migh-tee nice, too. Scribble sounds hint at something lurking beneath, before getting caught in a loop and blind-sided by a hurricane. Then things really get started. Field recordings and power electronics meld into something else entirely, and it might be heavy, but it's a relaxing kind of heavy.
I'll probably post on the other two once they've been absorbed and vomited up. Shit, it's almost 3pm, I should probably make some breakfast.

Friday, February 03, 2006

Ok, now I've really botched this whole year end list thing. Damn you blogpsot, why must you so cruelly track my past mistakes. Now I know how the Bush administration feels. Seriously, why should the public be aware of my flubs and thus hold me accountable for them? It's clearly not fair.
Ok, enough about how life isn't fair, I think the spot vacated on the list by Leviathan could potentially be filled by either Hair Police's Constantly Terrified or something by Burning Star Core, like The Very Heart of the World or Mes Soldats Stupides : 96-04.
In the wake of Wolf Eyes' Burned Mind, HP easily dodge also-ran status with a smoldering set of free rock drenched in overwhelming, putrid noise. This is another one of those definitive statement things: four tracks, each cleaving it's own chunk out of your skull, so once the blood hits your eyes, it's already too late. There was an article in Swingset where one of them, I think it was Connelly, said he liked the thought of someone picking up their album in the future and thinking it represented our time. It's an admirable intent, but somewhat flawed thinking. If our time really is as scary and ugly as Hair Police make it seem (and it could be), there won't be anyone in the future to hear it.
Burning Star Core is a name I'd been seeing around in all the right places, but never thought to take the dive before the recent massive review treatment in The Wire. I can't really get mad at myself, keeping up with the amount of artists that get praised in the name of the new weird whatever is fucking impossible (at least without broadband. Come back, broadband.), but C. Spencer Yeh's brainchild is so far up my alley, it's retarded. BxC makes me think of Birchville Cat Motel's immense drone vistas, except by way of Tony Conrad's harsh minimalism and American noise's free-for-all, so, like BCM, he can emit heart-rending beauty without anyone being able to call him a pussy. White hot nuggets of melody set amidst hail storms of noise, rough hewn and powerful, with several detours to a little town called Whatthefuck. Another relentless collaborator, he often plays with Hair Police's Robert Beatty and Trevor Tremaine as his backing band. Perhaps the true lesson of this top ten list is to make your scene as incestuous as possible. All these links, where does it end?
That's it, top twelve, but of the last two years. Make it top twenty. Everybody's in, music rules, fuck yeah.