If you ever want to see a lunatic in action, armed with fake blood and music equipment then see Baptizer. I saw and performed with Baptizer in late 2012. This guy made me want to give up my day job, become a roadie for him, and worship his ass. Seriously. Not many people have a firm grip on entertainment in heavy music nor know how to keep a small-ish audience intrigued, but Baptizer does. I saw him play at the seminal underground experimental venue, Amma House, and while I had heard a few whispers of what to expect, I wasn’t fully prepared. In stepped a maniac, gripping a microphone in his teeth, drenching himself and others in fake blood via a found chalice, and pummeling our ear drums and body cavities with a sick assault of noise-addled destruction. Jim, as he’s pleasantly known, hails from North Carolina, has a normal life, a family, and a day job, but you would never guess that once he sheds his shirt and begins to destroy your ear drums. “Signs ov Apocalypse” is a noisy amalgam of a variety of styles mashed into one bludgeoning of sound. His music is pseudo socio-political with an undercurrent of religiousness – but don’t let that stop you. I almost guarantee that if you didn’t read that and just experienced his music, you wouldn’t disagree with him on anything. The fact that people have in the past discredited his musical offerings because of his views, one way or the other, is disheartening and shows a complete lack of respect for what an experimental genre and its sister scenes are supposed to be all about. “Order of Wolves” by thee Grey Wolves was remixed and sound especially incredible. The track that stands out more than the rest is “Denial as a Defense Mechanism” with its artful craft mixture of noise and vocals, stirring up chaos and decrying apathy all at once. Stunning, incredible, and a must-have for anyone who wants to think that they have heard it all.
Posts in category electronic
Industrial super-gods Leaether Strip released “Coming Up for Air” to ready the world for its enigmatic and highly sought-after and anticipated follow-up soundtrack to a fictional film “Serenade for the Dead II” album set for release here soon in March 2013. The Danish industrial tag team of Claus and Kurt once again polish off another gem of electro-industrial magic. For fans of Spahn Ranch, :wumpscut:, and most anything off of Metropolis Records these days.
Daniel Euphrat is the mastermind behind the eclectic Timmy Sells His Soul outfit. Each song is so uniquely distinct and different from the last it’s like listening to a more pop version of Mr. Bungle though without the busy backdrop. Dripping wet with indie-pop incredibleness, “Name and Form” jumps from genre to genre but always boasting a terrific array of textures. His off-key vocals range from somewhat spoken yet muffled to melodic crooning. A huge array of electro influences are smashed up behind his voice. “Seeds” finds Rachel Springer Dunbar lending vocals amid a chaotic stew of IDM and melodic indie pop harmonies. “Knife and Bowl” evoke a kind of melancholy – something this album doesn’t seem to lack in – but with an industrial-pop edge ever so slightly creeping upwards. I couldn’t begin to tell you who he may be influenced by because so many things happen throughout the listen which is a good thing; I highly doubt it’s easy to pigeonhole someone like Timmy Sells His Soul. “Vicious” sounds like something you’d hear off of Metropolis Records while “We are Surplus” could be easily heard at your local coffeehouse with its low-key indie-pop flavors. Rangy and yet authoritative in what he’s trying to deliver and accomplish, “Name and Form (Black)” is a dark beauty but one that demands your utmost attention. Highly recommended.
Full disclosure – I really don’t know a whole lot about the power electronics or harsh noise wall scene. That said, I definitely can appreciate many of the artists that perform it or some variation. Japanese Torture Comedy Hour is one such outfit. Scott Hull of Pig Destroyer, Agoraphobic Nosebleed, Anal Cunt, and other metal offspring has been a member, but J. Randall is the mastermind behind “Dolphin Meat“. This hour-long distorted absurdity just crushed your cranium with harsh noises that were manipulated live with no computer(s), samples, guitars, or instruments just a bunch of crazy pedals chained together amid a fevered tenacity to blow one’s mind. The textures are dense for sure despite the lack of post-production editing and while it’s decidedly lo-fi in nature (recorded live onto VHS cassette). Looping effects pedals together in a feedback loop, J. Randall has crafted a simple sounding yet unorthodox concept into an unearthly creation that simultaneously stuns, eviscerates, and evokes raw emotive states. I can only imagine the melted brains in the live studio audience that got to witness this. Not for the weak willed or closed minded.
Phil Western and Mark Spybey together again! Well at least for two tracks that is. Dead Voices on Air, one of Spybey’s many projects, once again takes us to new and exotic locations. Amid their album photography on the digipak we’re whisked to far-off Argentina amid the beautiful landscape of Patagonia taken by Argentinean artist Marco Roberti. In addition to his collaboration with Western, Spybey enlists American-Serbian singer Ivana Salipur to assist on the title track, a track that is inspired by the Serbian poet Desanka Maksimovic, a poet perhaps most famous for poems regarding the atrocities committed by German soldiers during World War II. The album is Dead Voice on Air’s 14th and their 2nd collection released on seminal Lens Records. Songs range from ethnic world ambience to experimental to pure relaxing ambient. I’m constantly amazed at how Spybey and likeminded audiences are able to create such intense ambient pieces that just ooze attention-grabbing passion. Yet another notch on the proverbial belt of essential for DVOA.
The original “Dub Side of the Moon” was released in 2003 as a homage to Pink Floyd’s legendary and essential iconic “Dark Side of the Moon”. It spent an incredible 7 years on the Billboard Charts having sold over 200,000 copies worldwide. Here, Easy Star All-Stars have assembled a re-interpretation of that heavy bass reggae dub remix collection featuring a unique dub producer taking their shot at spacey dub. Today’s dub is a burgeoning genre with influence as wide ranging as the old school classic Jamaican reggae dubs and b-side mixologists, bass-heavy groove, roots reggae kinks, and now more on the techno flip dub-step. 10 Ft Ganja Plant and Dubmatrix are two artists that lend a hand towards roots dub. Groove Corporation grasps a futuristic re-rub for “Time”. Alchemist’s remix of “Money” is perfect groovy dub-step where the bass cascades with spooky synth stabs and tons of reverb. Adrian Sherwood’s use of echo is just flabbergasting – I swear the sound bounced off my sound system reverberating off of my vital organs. However the true gem on the album is from little known Kalbata. Signed to Soul Jazz Records, Kalbata is Israeli-born and his “Any Colour You Like” is a four-minute shuffle of tech-step rhythms lightened with modular synth noise and shimmies of electro funk. Add in the four bonus tracks and you have yourself a healthy dose of some of the best dub covers you’ll ever hear. Essential.
Alan Wilder, he of Depeche Mode fame, is the mastermind behind Recoil. Over the past several years, he has collaborated with countless artists to write, record, and play alongside including luminaries and lesser known artists such as Nitzer Ebb’s Douglas McCarthy, Joe Richardson, and Maggie Estep among many others. “Selected” is a collection of past tracks, remastered and remixed. While many artists that release these sorts of albums are trying to do so for the fans or simply to make a quick buck, Recoil’s “Selected” seems far removed from both of those commonalities. Instead what I hear is a band that wants to re-create an identity by mashing together so many past diverse ones. I hear a man who wanted to re-introduce himself to some and provide a nice introduction to those who’ve never heard of Recoil before. Granted Recoil isn’t for everyone, it’s not always a particularly danceable electronica group. It doesn’t pretend to know the latest trends or clichés in electronic music. However this is a two-disc set that combines to go in two different veins. The first being one that tries to collapse into a sound that doesn’t waffle from one track to the next and indeed feels like a full-length concept album. The second disc is all of the remixes and that’s where things pop and weave like a great boxer in the ring. You never know what to expect but you find yourself rooting him on from track to track. Wilder may never fully come out from behind the shadow of his former band, but Recoil is most certainly several steps out of the gate already.
Being a two-time Grammy nominee must come with a lot of pressure and expectations, each album and song being further scrutinized and dissected. But Carmen Rizzo seemingly shakes all of that pressure off time and time again. His resume includes co-writing on Oakenfold’s “Bunka” and Seal’s “Seal 2” with remixes of Tiesto, BT, and collaborating with Jem and Esthero. Career-wise he has also worked with such luminaries and music industry faves as KD Lang, Pete Townshend, Morissette, and Coldplay. On “Looking Through Leaves” he populates his songs with minimal dark electronics forging a surreal soundscape that is dauntingly vast. Joining Rizzo are guest vocalists Shana Halligen (ex-Bittersweet), Kate Havnevik, Grant Lee Phillips, Rosey and January Thompson. Together it’s a gorgeously flexible exploration of the next direction of electronic music and scoring. Oh and by the way, he’s set to donate an exclusive remix of his “Bring the Mountain Down” that features Grant Lee Phillips to the David Lynch Foundation.
Cascading loops with dark soundscapes and Latin-influences and velvety melodies, “Pequenas Canciones de Amor” reminds me of something off of Acuarela Discos out of Spain. Inflected indie rock noodles throughout this stirring experimental album. Exploring a variety of styles, O Paradis deploys a king’s ransom worth of diverse instrumentation. But the one all encompassing common denominator is heady vocals and a knack for crafty a finely tuned song. There’s seventeen tracks here that bridge the gap between Euro-pop, indie-pop, electronica, experimental, and abstract. I love it. Thank you Tourette Records!
Interesting remix of the original tracks from Species of Fishes albums “Songs of a Dumb World” and “Trip Trap” were utilized throughout this rather lengthy 56 minute jaunt into experimental music land. Muslimgauze is known for their Arabic influences and brooding electronica with an interesting mixing technique. They shed some of that here with shimmering electronic stabs and manic looping techniques that have sometimes only percolated in the backdrop of past endeavors. I found this remix album to be fantastic and totally fascinating. Worth a deep dive for the adventuresome music listener for sure.