A brief oral history of the noise rock legends.
A brief oral history of the noise rock legends.
The Fractured series may have come to a close, but John Mulvaney’s not done with his engaging profiles of bands in their creative milieu — this time across the Irish Sea with British doom metal crew Solstice.
My second feature for Bandcamp Daily and one I still can’t believe I was commissioned to write — but that is the point of the site, to surface and celebrate smaller genres and scenes, no matter how far from the mainstream they might be.
There isn’t much of a narrative to this, it’s just Hart and his observations on life, etc. But it makes one long for a world where we could still get his take on things.
This is good; essentially a hand-holding interface for Supercollider, which is exactly what I’ve been looking for. See also: Jazzari: The Programmable Trio (an in-browser code-based tracker).
“Does the underground still exist in a world where everything is visible online?” That’s a silly question, in that the answer is an obvious ‘YES’ and that it also presupposes that everything is visible online, when it patently isn’t. But it’s still good to see an august paper like The Guardian dive in and share what it's found.
Adam Savage geeks out as he cuts a record at Jack White’s Third Man headquarters in Detroit. Whatever your opinion on Black, one can’t doubt he’s a genuine nerd about the craft of recorded music.
“…now that a generation of musicians has been raised on GarageBand and iPads, does it really make sense to cover a piece of software in wood paneling?”
I will never not be impressed by the sheer variety and freedom in the Japanese cultural approach to music, and there are some fine examples here.
More takedowns like this, please. See also: Doug Moore of Pyrrhon picks apart the faulty logic in Matt Harvey of Exhumed’s recent defence of those who claim to be apolitical while profiting off hate speech.
An incredible collection, courtesy of the Musicophilia blog and streamable on Mixcloud. The proprietor also more recently posted a set of modern (2007-present) post-punk mixes. Perfect winter listening, both.
This one covers all the bases.
Great recommendations for avant, experimental and heavy jazz here.
Two electronic music nerds, geeking out over the artistic possibilities of hardware. See also: CDM takes a peek at Aphex Twin’s use of trackers.
The Meat Puppets play ‘Swimming Ground’ and ‘Maiden’s Milk’ on Phoenix local TV while promoting Up On The Sun. Still astounded at how fast Cris plays those bass melodies.
The ‘pivot to video’ is just a shiny new distraction from the real problem of advertisers’ quest for a holy grail metric that doesn’t exist. Also, the ‘music business’ is bullshit.
Mark Korven composed the soundtrack of The Witch, and created that film’s eerie music with the Apprehension Engine, a device he envisaged along the lines of an acoustic Author & Punisher. [c/o Lowbrowculture]
The Guardian on Eamonn Quinn and his Louth Contemporary Music Society, which has brought some of the biggest names in new music right here to Dundalk. This summer he hosted the Silenzio festival, which I sadly missed despite the performances being a short walk from my house. Meanwhile, I can’t get over the notion of Philip Glass having a curry at a restaurant I pass by on my bicycle a few times a week.
I’m delighted to share this — my first feature for Bandcamp Daily, the publishing side of my favourite music downloads and streaming platform.
A repost for my interview with Grant from late 2012; as linked from NPR’s obit on Thursday. He wasn’t one for nostalgia, as his comments attest, but like the best musicians he could take his old material and bring it to life on stage, as new. As sad as it is that he's gone, and can no longer make his music live, the heart sings to see so many share their love for what he did, or for the man himself; ILX's tribute thread is particularly heartfelt. See also: Bob Mould’s remembrance/tribute, and Ken Shipley of the Numero Group label, which is putting out the new Hüsker Dü box, shares his memories of the man.
It’s one answer to one question in an interview marking the release of the Brooklyn avant death metal band’s excellent new album. But it’s a good answer.
I’ll admit I’m a tiny bit disappointed this isn’t the start of a confirmed reissue campaign (“Never say never,” says Greg Norton…) but you better believe I’m getting it. So many previously unreleased tracks! See also: Do You Remember?, a new documentary podcast on the band and their legacy.
Remembering this went down yesterday, the first day at Glasto that no one really cares about ‘cause people are still arriving and putting up their tents and whatnot. So one can note metal’s inclusion after all this time, but it’s still shunted to the sidelines. Which is ridiculous as you can find relatively challenging music in other genres all across the festival.
Atmospheric psych-noise from Japan’s PSF Records, as previously noted here.
Soundgarden were my band. ‘Black Hole Sun’ came on MTV some time in the early summer of 1994 and I was transfixed. Before that moment, ‘rock’ was a big ugly thing to me, for older kids who drank in the park or hung out at the Wellington Monument with candles and baggy clothes when Kurt Cobain topped himself. So this was a strange feeling, hearing that song, with Chris Cornell’s soulful voice and Kim Thayil’s colourful guitar lines, alluring and scary at the same time. I didn’t even hear the album Superunknown till months later, when I got a CD player for Christmas. I’ve probably played it hundreds if not thousands of times since then. I still have the original CD. More…
A few days ago on Twitter, I wondered out loud how many artists from the classic era of SST Records (from 1980 to 1997, though some would cut it off at 1989 or earlier) are still going today. By still going, I meant still active as a performing and recording entity, whether as an ensemble or solo artist, that released records under the same name (or as essentially the same entity) on SST.
For all the relatively big-name acts who did their time on the label, there are few intact in 2017, and pretty much all of them took a break at some point between recording for SST and now. Indeed, if Sonic Youth hadn’t broken up a few years ago, they would have been the only career band still actively recording and touring straight through from their SST days.
Midori Takada’s 1983 LP Through The Looking Glass. Prompted by this short profile in the Guardian upon its recent reissue, which has promptly sold out. And it isn’t available digitally, for some stupid reason. So here you go.
Repetition is the word in Enlarged Heart Radio 19, featuring Lungfish, Moon Duo, Ramleh and more.
Sound artist Ranjit Bhatnagar (moonmilk on MeFi) set himself the challenge of building a sound-making instrument of some kind each day in February, and he’s done it every year for the past decade. And they’re kind of amazing.
Late with this owing to a busy week: a long-delayed round-up some of my favourite sounds from the last couple of years. Emphasis on the ‘some’, mind you, as all I can think of now are the records I forgot to include. Such is life.
An audio tribute by Tristan Bath upon the death of label founder Hideo Ikeezumi. Some beautiful noise here, my favourites being acoustic bass solo improviser Motoharu Yoshizawa and the ghostly Shizuka’s ‘Bloodspattered Blossom’.
It’s not all to my taste — I like my music more drone-ish, rhythmic or atonal than folky — but any underground music scene here needs cultivation.
Wrestling, much like video gaming, is one of those geek cultural touchstones that runs deep among the Millennial generation, for lack of a better term. Speaking of video games and wrestling, Deadspin and Kotaku recently delved into the ‘weird world’ of wrestling video game leagues.
Enlarged Heart Radio returns with more troubling sounds in episode number 18.
Since Rolling Stone is all about embracing subcultures now, whether it be wrestling or whatever, it’s about time they paid tribute to a genre that’s, I don’t know, about 30 years old by my calendar? (Seriously, though, this is a nice sit-down-and-chat, and the new album I’m spinning now is worth a listen.)
The latest episode of Fractured “gets down and dirty" with Limerick-based death metallers Zealot Cult.
Of course I remember Fisher’s K-punk blog from back in the day and it was impenetrable for me at the time but reading it now, I think I finally get it.
The headline is unfortunate (the problem is hardly unaddressed; it’s a perennial topic of discussion among metalheads) though the article is a good one. Ah, the moral quandary of separating the art from the artist! But seriously, aside from metal's propensity for permitting transgressive ideas without the attendant responsibility, the article points out the blatant hypocrisy that arises when artists use their art as a platform for their political agenda, even if the art doesn’t relate to it directly. How do you feel about your Burzum records now?
‘New’ is a stretch as the record’s been in the works for a few years — Watt mentions it in the interview we did four (four!) years ago — but it’s finally seeing the light of day this summer.
Here’s one I’ve had in my blogfodder folder forever: Deerhoof making a racket at CERN.
Good to see the festival finally respond to this, even if that response still constitutes some waffle over the meaning and intention of the boilerplate legal text. Basically, there’s no fucking around when it comes to the horror clown’s America. And for many artists, it’ll surely see the value of showcasing at SXSW plummet compared to online avenues like Bandcamp.
Justin Pearson (The Locust, Retox, Three One G, etc) talks about his musical journey, as well as the gear that comprises his signature sound. He’s refreshingly candid about his lack of traditional technique, which gives me hope for cracking the secret of the bass.
“I recognize that we're recognized as a metal label. By percentage, we have probably put out more metal than anything else, but there's probably a lot of stuff that people don't realize we've done. Even though I was a teenager at the time, part of the reason I chose the name Relapse was that there are some names that could have sounded more metal. I wanted something that was vague and wouldn't necessarily pigeonhole us.” A noble philosophy, to be sure. But Relapse is undoubtedly a big-time label in the metal ‘underground’, with little patience these days for the more experimental stuff (they dropped Pyrrhon after one record, for shame).
That she’s a Minutemen fan makes me like her all the more. Here's a short review I wrote of her support slot for Shellac in Dublin a few years ago.
Short but sweet interview with the Dead Kennedys guitarist. I’ve come to understand their position since the lawsuit controversy.
Some of this is snark, naturally. But most of it is dead on, as they say up here in Dundalk.
Weasel Walter did this quick remastering of Essential Logic’s Beat Rhythm News LP, and I’m kicking myself for not hearing the album sooner as this kind of off-kilter, bass-heavy post-punk is exactly my thing.
Filing this for future reference.