Thursday, December 24, 2009


Joining the end of year predictable best of list train

Choo choo!

If you guys want uploads of any of these, just ask.

1. Towers - Full Circle - Metalcore/all around heavy album
I posted this on my blog earlier this year, hopefully you guys grabbed it then. If not, do yourself a favor and get it now. Essential listening for anyone with interest in heavy music.

2. Emeralds - What Happened - Drone
Fantastic drone pieces from the three-piece improv group. First track is so uplifting, it gets a bit more challenging after that but never tedious. It also ends on a great note.

3. Natural Snow Buildings - Shadow Kingdom - Drone/Psychedelic Folk
Gigantic album, as one can see from the first track: 25 min of thick, complex drone. The last minute finally lets up into a folk melody, which the French duo continues for a couple tracks until the next drone monolith. The drone/ambient influence can be heard in all their work, though, which is what keeps their folk from becoming stale. The atmospherics on this album are amazing, and at times even better than Emeralds. The only reason it is third on the list is because at 2 hours and 39 minutes, it's a bit hard to get through in one sitting.

4. Wolf Eyes - Always Wrong - Noise
Here Wolf Eyes continues the noise found on 2007's Human Animal. Short pieces that can reasonably called songs, in the sense that they are distinctly different from the more extended improv sets they have released. The quick pace helps the songs stay fresh and abrasive. Standouts are We All Hate You, the most fucked up dance track I've ever heard, and Droll/Cut The Dog, probably the best ending track of the year. Happy stuff.

5. Nadja & Black Boned Angel - Self-Titled - Drone/Drone Doom
I'm a huge Nadja fan, as well as a huge Birchville Cat Motel fan, who is part of Black Boned Angel, a drone band that creates some of the bleakest music possible. When the two get together, you know it's gonna be huge. This is two tracks over 50 minutes, and there is no other way to listen to this than to let it destroy any hope you had. Terrifying shit. Listened to this high, it was like walking through blood fog or some other equally ridiculous metaphor.

6. Henrik Schwarz / Âme / Dixon - The Grandfather Paradox - Minimal Techno
This is not so much an album as a mixtape compiled by some producers using the sources and highlights of minimal techno as source material. The result is 1 hour and 8 minutes of continuous beats, ranging from the swell's of Steve Reich's Electric Counterpoint to synths created in college labs when that kind of stuff was still relevant. In short, it is a history lesson as much as a mixtape, and a great one at that.

7. Brand New - Daisy - Indie Rock
Posted this one too, I've always had a soft spot for Brand New. This album isn't the life changer that The Devil and God are Raging Inside Me is, but it is still a solid work with enough great tracks to keep it going. Noro is the song competing with Wolf Eye for best ending track.

8. Nosaj Thing - Drift - Instrumental Hip Hop/Glitch Hop, whatever that means
Quirky electronica release that deserves its spot on this list for Fog, one of the best tracks of the year. That one track captures this album's magic: bringing a sense of mystery and wistfulness to purely electronic sounds. The organic sounds on here remind me of Shuttle358, which is a huge compliment.

9. Kreng - L’autopsie phénoménale de Dieu - Dark Ambient
Sample-based dark ambient release that truly creeps me out in the best way. The approach is better than the result, which sounds like an insult, but it's really not. It's just a little too long. Apparently the vinyl version is shorter, and I've been listening to the CD version, which might explain it. Either way, I'll be looking for more from Kreng.

10. Zs - Music of the Modern White - Avant-garde
More weird shit from Zs. I can never truly describe them, as I'm sure anyone that's heard them can understand. On this release, they've dropped the labyrinthine mathy parts for a more textural approach using repetition, and throughout the album's 6 parts they mix it up enough to prevent things from becoming stale. Of course some parts are better than others, but that's to be expected since most of what they're doing is completely unlike anything else on the current music scene.

1. Nadja - Clinging to the Edge of the Sky - Drone/Ambient
Nothing particularly groundbreaking here, just a nice long track to get lost in.

2. Burial / Four Tet - Moth / Wolf Cub - Dubstep/Electronica
Moth is hands down the best track of the year, but Wolf Cub keeps this EP from being the best of the year. Too much Four Tet influence and not enough Burial. Moth, on the other hand is urban, melancholy, and has a wonderful ambient techno influence.

3. Rome - To Die Among Strangers - Neofolk
Rome also had a good album this year, but that had a little too many dull moments to get on the best of list. This EP, however is all quality, and shows the Berlin singer-songwriter's poetry and knack at creating his unique mood very well.

4. Dial - Dial EP - Metalcore
Another gem from a stagnant genre, much like Towers is. Dial doesn't do metalcore quite as well, but the relentless anger in these songs is great.

5. Wolves in the Throne Room - Malevolent Grain - Black Metal
Whether you like female vocals or not will determine if you like this EP. Of two tracks, one is the usually excellent black metal that WitTR makes, and the other is a much more melodic track with the infamous vocals dominating. I personally like it, but others haven't been so kind. Either way, this is another quality record that is short enough to get past the problems of Black Cascade, WitTR's 2009 full-length.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

American Football

American Football is the only math rock band I still listen to. Every other gimmick the others have overused, this band avoided, and the result is some of the prettiest, most relaxing music made. The lyrics are also a selling point for me; they are the most honest little portraits of a teenager's sad life, and whether that is ironic or resonant to you, there's something deeper to them. I'm not sure if the music or the words came first, but the two complement each other so well that in the end it doesn't even matter. I get the same melancholy from this as from Brand New's The Devil and God Are Raging Inside Me, another album that rises above its description as a "mature" outing from a "newly grown up" band.

Basically, American Football is like the good parts of A Catcher in the Rye. I know completely discredits my integrity as a music reviewer, but nevertheless you should listen.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Sundog Peacehouse

My ambient listening habits have gradually stretched into drone, so I've been looking into the modern scene more and more. This one, Brosound by Sundog Peacehouse, is one of my favorite albums of 2009, drone or otherwise. There's only two things wrong with the album. One, that it sounds like a mock hippie album, and second, that it was only released on cassette, a format I hate. The problem is that cassettes are the usual format in the drone scene, so I'll live with it, but anyone that gets pissed at low quality recordings should get over that. This one shouldn't be too bad though, I've heard much worse.
So yeah, the actual music. I think it's a great transition from ambient to drone, because there's no noisy tracks, just long tracks with gorgeous textures and slow moving melodies.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009


Yes, it's a goddamn cassette.

Skagos is a band from Vancouver that makes really good atmospheric black metal. This is Ást, which is to my knowledge their first and only release up to this point besides a demo. The music contains the post rock elements that often make other bands in the genre boring trash, but this record doesn't fall into the same pitfalls that their contemporaries do. Sincere quiet passages and real aggression make this album a true black metal album in the sense of a return to primitivism. Highly recommended.

Also, it's only released as a cassette, and you know you want those tr00 kvlt points.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009


I bought Full Circle by Towers on a whim, and it was probably the most pleasant surprise I've had all year. To call the album itself pleasant would be grossly incorrect, because one can hear 1:30 into the first track that this band is not messing around. Working in a stagnant genre (metalcore), it is surprising that this band has managed to create something this fresh. Heavy music is always looking for new ways to be heavier, but breakdowns, chants, and the like are boring and barely elicit any type of emotional reaction from the listener. Towers completely throw out that formula, instead introducing psychedelic elements and obscene amounts of dissonance. Guitar lines drenched in delay slowly fade, each new note colliding with the previous one, all while the singer (perfectly subdued in the mix) wails away.

Highly recommended and definitely in my top 5 for 2009.

(This is the official zip file that came with my vinyl copy. Bitrate could be higher, I agree, but I think the sludgy atmosphere benefits from the sound quality)

Friday, September 18, 2009

Organ works of Olivier Messiaen

Olivier Messiaen was one of the most important composers of the twentieth century, mostly remembered for the Quartet for the End of Time, a chamber piece he wrote while in a Nazi concentration camp. I personally love that piece, but Messiaen had such a wide range of influences (birdsong, French Impressionism, Ancient Greek and Hindu music, etc.) that it is impossible to know him just from one piece. Although it is not easy music to listen to, one can hear passion often not heard in serialist music, stemming from his endless Roman Catholicism, as seen in the titles of his pieces.

This is a 4 disc set of his organ works played by Messiaen himself, so excuse the gigantic file size. It is not often that one gets to hear composers performing their own work, but these rare occasions offer a glimpse into the composer's music performed exactly as it was conceived.

I also recommend everyone find his Quartet for the End of Time, the timbral variation might be good for those put off by an organ's sound.

Friday, September 4, 2009

György Ligeti

Ligeti is a Hungarian composer that anyone interested in modern classical music needs to hear. His groundbreaking Atmosphères is included, as well as Lontano, which resembles it. San Fransisco Polyphony is equally amazing, and Apparitions is good too. Concert Românesc is probably my least favorite piece on here, because it is nowhere near as adventurous as the other pieces, but it might actually be a good piece to start with if the first half of the album turns you off.

Definitely a great listen to widen your taste and see how influential this was. Keep in mind that Atmosphères was written in 1961.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Brand New Brand New

I'm so gay for this band.

Monday, August 24, 2009

B Sides

I found all these today, it's various stuff I recorded with my bass teacher over the past year or so.

Most of it is just bass, sometimes there's a little synth or whatever in there. It was all recorded on Logic.

It's a lot more rocky than most of my other stuff, which might make it easier listening. It's not really what I'm into anymore, but I'm sure all my diehard fans will eat this right up.

Get it cuz I don't have fans.

Wolf Eyes

These are wolf eyes.

Wait fuck no,

This is.
Guillotine Keys is more ambient, creepy shyt.
Mugger, on the other hand, is your house collapsing from too many corpses piled on top of it.

Here's both.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

No Input

Here's another solo effort, called No Input, created only with four pedals: Distortion, Tremolo, Delay, and Loop, in that order. No input at all, I only modified the sound with the EQ on the distortion pedal. Also, I touched the input cable with my finger, which amplifies the sound.

Not easy listening.

Heavily influenced by Onkyo music, specifically Toshimaru Nakamura, as well as "Black Wings Over the Sand" by Wolf Eyes.


Monday, August 10, 2009

HEALTH at 320

Official digital release, check the previous post.

Saturday, August 8, 2009


Get Color isn't as good as the self titled, but people that didn't like the first one probably will like this one. Way more poppy.

This is the official release, got it from Lovepump.


Thursday, July 30, 2009

tha Trillest shit for tha Illest dicks

It's weird, some dude I didn't know e-mailed me. The body of the message:

"aye girl cum bac 2 tha crib"

I would probably describe this as post-free jazz (in the sense that he is taking it to the next level, not that it's like Godspeed) mixed with the modern dubstep scene played through one of Steve Reich's tape shits.

If you're not already downloading this, get on this shit.



PPS 50th post today, happy whatever.

But you guys are cool too.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009


And now comes my first solo release, entitled Dronez.
It's solo bass with some effects, all improv and live.
Fall asleep to it or something, I listened to it and liked it, which is rare for my own music.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Verse En Coma

Verse en Coma are yet another offshoot of the revolutionary pageninetynine, but give an altogether different sound than the chaotic sound wall of, say, Document 8. Rialto, their only release to date, is about melody and composition. All of these tracks have a clear set goal, and never overstay their welcome. Quite an accomplishment in punk, where 6 minute songs usually get boring in the first 2.

Another fantastic element of this album is the production. The guitar tone of the melody at the end of the first track will ensure that you understand what I mean.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

4 Corners

4 Corners is an extremely fun live album by Magnus Broo (trumpet), Adam Lane (double bass), Paal Nilssen-Love (drums), Ken Vandermark (baritone saxophone, clarinet, bass clarinet).

Although I am unfamiliar with most of the work put out by these guys, they are fairly well known in free jazz circles, and it is evident from first listen that they are all extremely proficient players.

The most important factor in jazz, provided that members of the band are good musicians, is the level of communication between players. Groups like Supersilent appear to have a superhuman sense of what every other member is thinking, and 4 Corners is also notable for the interdependence between members.

Also, it sounds like Dolphy at times, which is always a plus. Another standout: distorted double bass grooves perfectly locked in with the drummer.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Ricardo Villalobos

I've had Fabric 36 by Villalobos for a while, and it's taken me this long to digest how great it really is. This is microhouse, the exact opposite of flashy music, but for anyone that likes ambient or dance music, this is a trip.

I'm giving you guys Alcahofa, his first album, because it's more like traditional pop/dance songs, whereas Fabric 36 is a live set and just straight up weird.

If you're not feeling the first song, listen to Dexter in the dark. That's what this is about.

Saturday, May 30, 2009


If an elephant in full chainmail sat on you on Jupiter it would not be as heavy as Outre'.

This is what Satan beats his wife to.
Only for fans of death/black metal and of dying.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Stravinskij Stravinski Stravinsky etc.

Sepoe, I'm sorry this took 3 years.

For all the rest of you, this is one of the most influential and controversial pieces of 20th century music, The Rite of Spring by Stravinsky, conducted by the masterful Boulez. This is definitely one of the best versions out there, and the label is Deutsche Grammophon, so you know the sound quality is going to be good too. Petrouchka is also included, not as mindblowing as The Rite of Spring (to me, anyways), but still worth a listen.

Monday, April 6, 2009


Stop listening to Times New Viking and listen to some real noise rock.
The band is called Rapeman what more do you want

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Gnaw Their Tongues

Gnaw Their Tongues have an EP named after the Japanese cannibal Issei Sagawa. But let that bring into your mind not kitschy drawings made by preteens bored in math class. This band is not the zombie with the rocket launcher arm that shoots chainsaws.
It is the sound of Hell.
This album is called ...Spasming and Howling, Bowels Loosening and Bladders Empyting, Vomiting Helplessly...
Seriously, it's black metal, dark ambient, and noise, what else would you expect?

If you liked Nahvalr, check this out.
I hated Nahvalr, so even if you didn't, check this out.

P.S. Yes that's a typo in the title, it's Empyting, not Emptying.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Extra Life/Nat Bladwin

Extra Life's Secular Works was one of the best albums of last year, and Charlie continues to reinvent this project in unexpected ways. While most of Secular Works was already sparse, tense arrangements, he stripped it down even further for this split with Nat Baldwin a singer-songwriter on a double bass. Black Hoodie, the best song on here is just Charlie with an acoustic and a viola, the other two songs just him and guitar. Of course, his voice is stellar as always, and the solo performance of I'll Burn holds up surprisingly well next to the full band version on the full-length.
Nat Baldwin's side is not as good. It holds promise, it just never achieves the same heights of melody and composition that Extra Life's does. His songs drag a bit. Weights is definitely the best one, and is also the shortest one.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009


This is probably not a new album for most of you guys reading this, but this is really another gem from 2006, an overall great year for music (Donuts, Dowsing Anemone, Diadem of 12 Stars, This Binary Universe, etc). Liars is one of those bands that if you were high it'd be all 'Feels good, man', but you don't need to be to enjoy it. That makes sense, right?
Anyway, the yell at the beginning of Let's Not Wrestle Mt. Heart Attack is good enough to justify downloading this, but what really sets this album apart is the textural experimentation. There's not many melodies here, most of them are just the vocal lines sung in falsetto or a deep Ian Curtis voice, but the drums play an integral part in keeping the pulse going. The guitar rarely sounds like one, instead it's run through countless filters until beautiful drones are created to let the vocal lines breathe.
Liars manages to keep things fresh for 12 tracks and 47 minutes, no easy feat.

Thursday, January 29, 2009



That is the first track off of Ampere's incredible EP, All Our Tomorrows End Today. It's 24 seconds, and that one song is more fulfilling than most hardcore tracks I've ever heard. I might not be an expert, but this 11 minute EP will change your life.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009


Here's another French math rock gem; Capoëira by Chevreuil (Deer in French). This is a duo, like Cheval de Frise, a band I love, but they play an entirely different kind of math rock. The easiest way I can compare them to another band would probably to say they are like a freer, noisier Battles. I'm not sure how they pull this off live, because looped parts come in and out every two seconds, but it works on tape at least.

By the way, it was produced by Steve Albini, so you know it sounds clean as fvck.

Monday, January 19, 2009

New Honor Roll Breakfast EP

Today we actually got to record in a legit studio, so the sound quality is tons better than previously. Also, we added a third song, Hemingway, for you all to enjoy.

Friday, January 16, 2009

real talk

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Venetian Snares compilation

Venetian Snares is Aaron Funk's twisted soul conquering the breakcore scene.

Everyone already knows Rossz Csillag Alatt Született (Born Under a Bad Star), which I have a soft spot for because the album's main theme is Hungary, but it is not representative of Vsnares' discography, because of how varied it is. No one album would do the job, which is why I'm including two of his offerings; Meathole, a noisy album that samples jazz, but is verrry dark, and the Sabbath Dubs 7", which is two dub remixes of Black Sabbath songs. Hopefully, the contrast is clear between the chaotic, arrhythmic snare rushes of Meathole and the laid back, stoner tracks on Sabbath Dubs.

If you want more classical samples, check out My Downfall and Rossz. His new album, Detrimentalist is more jungle-influenced. His earlier albums are not as experimental, but still go above and beyond all the breakcore I've heard.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Supersilent 6

Supersilent is a Norwegian improv band rumored to not even communicate outside of live performances. There people are that intense about it, and the music they create is very original, but never fall sinto the rut of endless dissonant passages as seen from other free improv bands. Especialyl notable in the band is Arve Henriksen, one of the best trumpet players living today. One simply needs to hear "6.2" to be convinced of this, and of the whole band's talent at creating remarkably rich melodies ON THE FLY.

Must hear.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Lurker of Chalice

Look at that album cover. That is how this album sounds.

If that isn't good enough, just know that this is Lurker of Chalice's self titled, or depressing, atmospheric black metal from Wrest, known mainly for his other one man black metal band, Leviathan. While black metal might seem silly with the corpse paint and paganism associated with the scene, two things attract me to it; the depressing, dark atmosphere that no other music can create, as far as I've heard, and the tonal richness that comes from a good composer. As repetitive as it is, black metal has some very mature chord progressions, and the thin production coupled with multiple guitar tracks lets all the sound come through.

I posted earlier Wolves in the Throne Room's album Two Hunters, which I think is a fantastic record, and a great introduction to black metal. Lurker of Chalice, while sounding completely different, is also accessible and without the vocals that seem to turn most people away from one of the most rewarding extreme metal genres.

Just listen plz

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Ground Zero

I continue yesterday's weird album with another weird offering, Ground Zero's Revolutionary Pekinese Opera Ver.1.28. It's from 96, so some of you might have heard it already, but it's worth hearing it if you haven't. It's a Japanese band that makes experimental noise rock via, as far as I can tell, free improvisation. Now let me explain, before you stop reading. This is not Derek Bailey or Anthony Braxton free improv. Sure, it times it's noisy, but that's to be expected. I'm listening to the album as I type this, and a long noise section just ended, and now a soothing female singer is vocalising in a very Eastern sounding mode, there are some cymbal hits, and it's relaxing. Of course, within the next five minutes, it might sound like Hell on Earth, but it's enjoyable.

Plus, there's a guy in the band that plays turntables.

Free improv turntables.

Monday, January 5, 2009


So, I haven't posted in a while, much to the dismay of like two people, but I will try to get this up again.

To start with, I'm giving you guys a Finnish psychedelic folk band, Paavoharju. The album's name is Yhä hämärää, which looks about as obnoxious some shit Magma would release, but the music is actually pretty decent. It's pretty droney, and the female vocalist is great at giving the music a bit of a Far Eastern feel, although this could just be Finnish folk, which I am not really familiar with. Either way, it's solid except for a couple tracks, so DL that ish, and keep checking back. Or just use Google Reader and have your life much easier.

It sounds just like Animal Collective.