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.
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…
The academic tone meant I really only skimmed this (lo, the spectre of TL;DR!) but I thought it still worth a link: as the format matures with the freedom accorded by the availability of the necessary technology (for production and distribution alike) we’ll need deeper critical studies of some kind to grow along with it. [c/o 5it]
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.
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.
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.
Short but sweet interview with Watt talking his first solo album and tour, in which he got by with a little help from his friends, all of whom are ridiculously more well-known than he is. See also: this half-hour audio interview with Minutemen drummer George Hurley that I haven’t listened to yet but I’m sure it’s great.
Here’s a great chat with the TAD main man talking the new remasters of their Sub Pop records. There’s another one on Noisey, too.
I’m not a Cohen fan but this in-depth profile, published just weeks before his death, was still an enthralling read.
My friend John is way more connected with the Irish scene than I am at the minute, alas.
The record that gave that band their name, but little else: this is the eclectic sound of late ‘80s SST which isn’t to everyone’s taste, especially if you’re only familiar with the Black Flag hardcore side, but it’s right up my alley.
Good tips here. My collecting days are behind me, but I’ve got a few LPs, and there are a few more I’d like to have, but I need a better player to get the most out of them.
Posting this not only because it’s a fantastic record from an amazing band, but also because this has the experimental closing track ‘Things Fall Apart’ that’s missing from the rip I found online a while back. Come on Numero Group or somebody, get this stuff reissued!
Never mind the order; this is worth sharing just for the selection as a whole, only a fraction of which I’ve heard. On a related note, P4k more recently listed their choice of the 50 best IDM albums, a few of which I actually bought and listened to more than once. Imagine that.
Space grind, doom jazz, avant metal and more in Enlarged Heart Radio 17.