Thursday, 29 May 2008
Five tracks of acerbic noise from this Parisian collab.
*Blue Sabbath Black Fiji's Lazer Saber from last year has just been re-released on Abandonship Records in a tiny pressing of 50. Don't waste any time.
Tuesday, 27 May 2008
Death Chants - Natural History
Format: CDR (ltd. 180)
"As genres continue to liquefy into each other and separate out into individually crafted and organic mash-ups, the world begins to sound like a smaller friendlier place. As a band name, Death Chants a total misnomer, this collective are far too alive and remarkable to be soundtracking any repetitive marches to the graveyard.
It’s easy to find a lot of music that’s based in the worlds of free playing and traditional structures/styles, and Death Chants aren’t alone in giving heavy nods to country and folk. But where many bands give in to crapulous backroom antics or moonshine madness, Death Chants are endearingly rickety, yet undoubtedly focused. They combine loose playing with long drifts and tentative steps into areas like drone and free playing. There’s an immediately warm lo-fi atmosphere on Natural History that appears to be rooted in the traditions of early American music.
The opening “A Dog in the Ether” begins conventionally on acoustic guitar and cello before gracefully flowing into areas of what should be on the border of discord. Instead, the cello swoops like John Cale’s viola, creating a raga-drone through the song. Following the same basic tenets, “River Road” tiptoes along through smog-infested feedback. A strum-along acoustic section moulds the song whole, as shimmering peaks and falls roll through. An accordion tries to steer the song back into the traditional world, but its foothold proves too loose, and the composition melts away like buffeting drifts of snow. The movements between wandering adrift and core melody make this 11-minute ride arresting from start to finish.
“States” wraps things up with a short ramshackle take on beginner’s garage rock, a decidedly odd touch. The loose and shaky percussion follows a battered acoustic guitar and kazoo-like sing-along vocal. There’s an unexpected flute line that, while eerily ethereal, holds the piece together quite well.
Natural History has many of the hallmarks of a debut – fresh, devoutly amateur and full of potential. I’m looking forward to finding out if future Death Chants hold the same charm and bizarrely bright edges." - Dusted
1. A Dog In The Ether
2. River Road
Death Chants - Valley of Light
Label: Cauliflower Dreams
"this disc will send you to the moon and back. 2 loooong tracks that sing about the deepest river on earth, your mind." - Cauliflower Dreams.
1. The Village & The Lake (37:57)
2. Distant, Faraway Suns (28:20)
Format: CDR (ltd. 100)
Surging, melifluous folk dirges spanning a meal of instruments. Fantastic vocal interplay (sustained vs. fluid overtonation). "Three pieces to get lost in"
1. Forest of Cymbals,
2. Comme des nuages dans un fleuve
Heavy Eye of the Sun - II
"The name Heavy Eye of the Sun inspires vivid imagery. I imagine Mayan temples erected toward the sun-borne gods, and ancient ritualistic dances performed in the fire light by feather-adorned priestesses. It's one hell of a name that insinuates something monolithic, something great. So it takes some guts to name your band that. Thankfully on Heavy Eye of the Sun's latest album (and their debut before this, quite honestly), they certainly live up to these lofty expectations.
Housed in a beautiful collage by the artist & photographer, Maryse Latulippe, "II" is the aural equivalent of a sacred talisman. It is enchanted with mystic spirits. This Montreal duo, comprised of Olivier Borzeix and James Schidlowsky, at times remind me of a more acoustic-based, freer version of The Skaters. Their voices bounce off each other like trees spiralling toward the sky. The opening track, "Comme les ailes des libellules," is an absolute mind-bender. Dueling, rapid-fire acoustic guitars destroy everything in front of them so that Borzeix and Schidlowky's voices can rise above the ether. It's perfectly executed and totally great.
After following a similar track on the second track, the duo unleash some absolutely hypnotic folk goodness on "Shivers." Their voices, again, are the key here. High-pitched wails sound as if they're conjuring the essence of long-dead gods. "Shivers" is thick with layers of acoustic guitars, like a neverending cosmic thicket. Hints of banjo rise from the haze to show you the path home. This is truly brilliant stuff.
"II" ends with the loose-blues of "Sun Spiralling Down." It's far more meditative than its three brethren, but is the perfect end to an excellent album. "II" is full of beautiful acoustic drones, steeped in decaying leaves and wrapped in walls of sonic ivy. It is masterfully organic in all the right places. "II" carefully carves out a niche like an archaic stream slowly etching its way toward bedroock. This is Heavy Eye of the Sun's journey to the sea. Recommended. 8/10" (Brad Rose, Foxydigitalis)
1. Comme les ailes des libellules
4. Sun Spiralling Down
Heavy Eye of the Sun III is still available through FoxyD's ltd. ed. line. And, I assure you, does not disappoint.
Label: Catsup Plate
Limited release of 300 copies. My God this is incredible.
"Dylan Nyoukis, most known for his work with the Scottish sound
collage ensemble Prick Decay, has recently unearthed his first
solo full length. Self-described as a folk album, "The Shield
that Pierces the Earth" doesnt exactly mimic Dylanisms a
la "Highway 61", as Nyoukis instead explores otherworldly terrain,
inspired partially by indigenous music from around the globe. From
the gamelan-like percussion explorations to the howling monkish
chants (and so much packed in between), "The Shield that Pierces
the Earth" is a one-man tribute to a large portion of the Folkways
library. Nyoukis also incorporates odd looping bits of sound and
electronics, and with the lo-fi recording and crackle of vinyl,
these fragments could easily be mistaken for a lost recording of
classic concrete sounds. Seaming it all together is Nyoukis
ability to give each sound a distinctly old-timey feel, producing
a fluid continuity between folk and non-folk terrain. Packaged
gorgeously as a handmade gatefold LP (complete with pink
vinyl!) "The Shield that Pierces the Earth" drops from the skies
as a lost experimental classic immediately upon release" (othermusic.com)
|A1||Excerpt From ‘Dead Pharaoh Vs Smeared On Monkey's Eyeball|
|A2||Clay’s Festering Lungs|
|A3||The Lonely Way To Go-Go (Variation On A Theme By Neil Campbell)|
|A4||Release Me From Your Kung-Fu Grip|
|A5||Return Of The Javanese Rod Puppet|
|B3||The Chicken Sees|
|B4||The Snout Of A Zoom Lens|
p.s. Absence explained by academic concerns, but all is over now.