Brash, fun, toothless Harsh Noise Guitar carnage from Schakalens Bror. Blood-drenched guitar strings wound into booming psychedelic feedback live improv, a mad axe man swings his terrible weapon in front of a huge steaming amp stack, notes bending and warping in rote primitivism, searing blasting unmixed (?) abandon, simple pedal effects stomped in and out, strangling high end spikes choked from the axe neck – little moments of fleet fucked flubbed fingered runs appear in the third track from within the haze, conjuring an abused, demented, inept virtuoso feel. Cheap, nasty and lo-fi. Total Guitar butchery. Grab some of their shit from Team Boro Tapes.
Disinclined to toe the self-limiting line of genre fundamentalism, Brooklyn-based imprint Ohm Resistance may be a broad church, but the primacy of bass over all other sonic prerogatives is, and always has been, its raison d’être. The fourth, and apparently final, instalment in OR’s annual sampler series, ‘Perihelion Infinite’ is a comprehensive showcase of the label’s lurid, low end-led aesthetic, featuring sixteen exclusive tracks (un)lovingly crafted to rupture every gas main within a 9-mile radius. Despite the occasional nod to stylistic orthodoxy (‘Subterranean’ by Metalheadz stalwart Jaise is a case study in drop-forged industrial jungle), the majority of these beasts are defiantly chimerical; scaly, multi-appendaged hybrids with their gaze fixed firmly on the future. Atsushi Izumi’s ruthlessly overdriven ‘Casaurius’, for example, fuses drum & bass and techno at the spine whilst a cannonade of scimitar-sharp breaks ensures the happy hardcore sugar rush of DrillBasser’s ‘Even’ leaves a distinctly sour aftertaste. Elsewhere there are forays into critical mass post-dubstep (DEFCE’s suffocating ‘Pain Centers’) deconstructed breakcore (the alarmingly vertiginous ‘Eat Sleep Repeat’ by Belfast belligerents Slave To Society) and even Emeralds-esque kosmische (Bob Rogue’s luminescent ‘Asteroids’), but the predator at the apex of this sub-chomping food chain is Sagana Squale’s nightmarish ‘Blood Goddess’, a paranoia-wracked bolus of malice aforethought trip-hop Portishead would have killed to concoct. Embrace the bass.
I found this trawling through To Live A Lie’s main label page on bandcamp and realising that they separately host a bunch of their older releases here, all available to download for free. Lapse’s complete discography, lean and mean as FUCK brutal Hardcore/Grindcore amalgam, pummeling limb crushing arrangements switch tempos from smash and grab grinding blast to slow beatdown toothless carnage, ugly and nasty like a spiked fucking bat – bright burning Guitar, mid Bass strangle/bulge, stacked snappy drumming and baited breath teeth gritted/low burly vocal of outsider pain and rage. I first discovered Lapse from their excellently savage split with Eddie Brock (tracks 1-3 here, some of their best), and I’m chuffed to have gotten around to listening to the rest of their killer output. A Hardcore/Grind alloy to alienate yourself from your ‘peers’.
Collaborative issue between JK Flesh and Echologist. 4 tenderising tracks, head-enveloping brittle fibrous Techno with an entropic bent, diminishing returns and total futility, miserable, menacing and mangled – experiential and longform, syrupy, banging as fuck. Runs awkwardly through a delay haze yet with lots of swingin’ kick funk. Hyper-designed hardtek expanse unfolds at a menacing pace, minimalist layers of damaged radar bass, skullbreaking sequences of archaic hats and manacled claps drift to and fro across the delay field, paranoiac with potent shifting pulsing rhythm, loops swinging in and out of lockstep with purcussion and Bass in broken mandala alignment – shadowswept and lunatic, jaundiced heads float in decompressed airlock zero gravity, treading a fine line between science fiction cannabinoid innerspace inhabitation and dancefloor melting extro-expression. Brilliant.
A couple of atmospheric, devilish acoustic tracks from Mephistofeles, here just vocalist and guitarist Gabriel Ravera. Tombstone boogie is an appropriate title, indulgent stoned jamming in the graveyard, drunk and miserable and quite incoherent, strangely intoxicating in it’s raw immediacy. Headbanded voodoo skull blazing empty eye sockets, illumination in flickering candles over the corpse. The Ungrateful Dead, stoned alone. I hope an element of this burnout sound is present in their next full length record; as it stands, though, this is an unpleasant hippy illy doob interlude whilst we await said full length. And indeed an enjoyably deviant deviation.
Recent release from spectral vapor dealer MACROBLANK. Barber Beats? Ok cool, what the fuck do I know about anything. Downcast, mournfully funky downtempo vapor jams to stalk the steaming streets of New Sodom to – dulcet Illbient inflections, slow smooth jazz conundrums and vaporous dejected luxury experience, masterfully smoothed and machined in a way that Barber Beats tend towards, eschewing ‘wavy surface noise and unwieldy joins for clarity and polish, smooth and lurid bronzed surfaces. Crisp Hip Hop beats, beauteous golden echo Sax guides your sobriety away in a dry haze, distant unfurling Funk Bass lines sizzle in the artificial sun. Sumptuous, plastic-sensual, aggrandising. Easy listening for the post postmodern luxuriant goods consumer.
Blood Stained Concrete’s first demo, furiously nihilistic Grindcore with a carbonized pallor of burnt out urban mindset and hopelessness, with Hardcore and true Power Violence influences. Domineering crushing Guitars working out nasty chord patterns in old Hardcore shapes, girded to grinding Bass & tooth smashing blast/stomp Drum amalgam, blunted out ultra-pissed ham sandwich vocal. Devotional single footed blast beat deluge and storming tom heavy pit-killer parts, raw and loud production. Brilliantly simple and excellently executed Grindcore heavily influenced by Excruciating Terror and In Disgust – The heart-broken oldies samples between tracks really bleaken the tone in that unique west-coast way, each one a rose thorn to slip between your ribs and bleed your vitals amidst slabs of sledging Core. Great demo, I’ll be checking out their more recent 2019 demo next.
An alkaline blast of melted Hardcore fury and Fastcore kung fu force from the US – hyper fast drumming on speed, gurning noise rocking riffs and mangled chord shuffle in ear-shredding treble extremity, vocal derision and insensitivity encased in hissing noise, tape echoes bounce like ricochets, lithe yet punchy Bass impenetrable. A perfect demo, totally overblown violence! I downloaded this thing off of TERMINAL ESCAPE years ago, and it’s remained one of my favourite Hardcore demos of all time, one that I return to again and again. Incidentally if you’re unaware of the above mentioned blog, click the link immediately and check it out. THE best tape blog ever in my humble opinion. The amount of KILLER shit on there is just insane, each post involves lots of scans of J-Cards and inserts, memories and recollections of live events from up and down the west coast, and insights into the sounds within that I wholeheartedly steal from in style and execution. The Wizard is doing the fuckin’ lords work over there. Long may he reign!
2020 release from outrovert slime dealer Wolfie Warship (moniker of agent Anthony Vincent – formerly/AKA Xrin Arms) – Trippin’ face Beats and Bass, loose and mangled sampling interwoven to resemble something like darkside Aesop Rock/Blockhead combo meal production style, esoteric and obstinate vocal slurrs and stumbles forth from the mouthpiece, heavy with leaden threats and noxious jests, totally blunted out and shadowy in intent – Industrial Hip Hop contaminated with pitch dropped samples, hideously formed of mercurial heavily processed Beats and Bass bombast, sidewinder sample melodies cut in half, contorting over the Bass concussion and crispy old skool beats smothered in a duffle bag, processed by force to topographic maps of pique and drop. Capsized and submerged weirdo outsider Hip Hop excellence.
Most high split between Jah Excretion and Seal Team 666, a meeting of Dub-minded pothead Harsh Noise advocates made in Mecca. This dime was released by Dread Rocks Records in Japan on pro CD, although it is now sold out at the source, and digitally on Grindcore Karaoke. Jah Excretion sparks and blasts two tracks of hyper minimal Harsh Noise reverb-beration, for smoke up sesh of only the most zooted, head-crushingly heavy and ionic positive charge, Hashishian Harsh Noise for heads. This material hews closer to Iwasaki San’s older releases as Jah Excretion, leaning less into the voluminous ambience he would later explore on his Meditation EPs and doubling down on the ear bleeding piercing treble frequencies. Seal Team 666 pulses up a confounding slow-rolling smokestorm hotbox of Harsh pulsing Noise laden with samples, and dub siren distortion jam on OG Augustus Pablo and Jah Shaka Dub versions, super Harsh red-eyed stoned as shit Noise Dub pulsation to provide a psychedelic lungfull – Positive bliss reception, tripped delay tokes and oscillation inhalation contours within the smokestorm of low end frequency. Perfectly packed between each artist’s contribution is a highly impassioned reading of Shel Silverstein’s “Smoke Off” by A. Kenyon. Stoned ascension. SMOKE VOLCANIC DOPE.
A particularly smoooooth blend of atmospheric Funk House and sumptuous Vaporwave from the Fat Man dealer, effervescent shimmer beats and rolling electronic Basslines induce the nostalgia and bittersweet depression. This EP leans a little further away from Yacht Rock and into filtered, hazy House, sumptuously funky beats beneath a gated filter shimmer and sizzling Bass sounds, with the middle track acting as a downbeat interlude between velvety Future Funk-y numbers, each replete with lush nostalgia mania sampling of impossibly sacharine sizzlin’ Pop, Funk and Rock – pink and purple neon lights obscuring the contours on unknown faces in the tropical rain. Calming and introspective, very listenable and groovin’. Altogether too short.
The permeability of the membrane that separates jazz from extreme metal has been increasing exponentially of late. From the cosmic overload of Neptunian Maximalism to Starboard’s funereal chamber doom, the slew of exotic new hybrids birthed by this osmotic pressure drop haven’t just rattled the odd cage, they’ve permanently altered the contours of an entire sonic landscape. As their name suggests, Dutch improv trio Eaters Of The Soil inhabit the dankest antechambers of the jazz/metal basilica, chiseling angular monoliths of ear-scouring discord from fretless bass, guitar, synth and trombone. The album-length sequel to last year’s riveting self-titled debut, ‘E.P. 2’ is a case study in nuanced cacophony that, despite its often pulverising heaviness, shows scant regard for the protocols of doom. Expect nothing so conventional as a riff here, just boulder upon boulder of sedimentary noise whose cumulative effect mirrors the Sisyphean slab-dragging of hardline sludgemongers like Primitive Man and Body Void. Jazz is likewise stretched way beyond its elastic limit, plumes of overblown brass erupting from plateau of bass-stiffened ambient grind that thrum like a vast network of conjoined substations. Tumours of forlorn melody grow briefly in the gloom only to be excised by scissoring blasts of dissonance, whilst snatches of dialogue apparently culled from interviews with a serial killer only deepen the sinkhole of unease this nerve-shredding noise-fest opens up. Join the feeding frenzy.
Ultra brutal, merciless and violently grooved mondo-riff Brutal Death Metal mayhem from the online obscurity, sporting an imperious Grindcore like dynamic… drums sounding viciously programmed replete with murderous blast beats, thrashing switch-ups and deliciously pitched rolling tom fills sat mockingly atop the loud production, with flesh ripping scornful Old School Death riffs and bronze Bass low-end cast from the pulpit of judgement, super gurg gross low vocal, grotesque medieval torture samples, pitilessly brutalising, gruelingly heavy and grinding in a similar vein to Brodequin or Pustulated, via drum machine precision and inhumanity. Arduous and odious, gore drenched Brutal Death Metal for the motherfucking breaking wheel. Put some artwork on that first demo, chaps.
Extremely unwieldy, grueling ardor of drugged one man midi Black Metal (?) from the end tymes of The End Commune. Bizarre and shamanic, enamored/obsessed with the ISIS conflicts – a dissonant, dissident and melodious uproar of devotional Avant Garde Black Metal violence rendered in awkward midi instrumentation, sure to appeal to those fans of the more esoteric and bizarre fringes of no audience raw Black Metal. A constricting, arresting, uniquely lo-fi instrumental Black Metal haram, far-sighted visions sculpted with bound and artless hands and in the throes of boundless imagination, rousing and dense, simple digital instruments with bleached raw presence working out weirdly complex and startling arrangements, very very mystic and low-rent. “i have so many riffs in me, they need to get out somehow… and i cant play the guitar.. so yeah…in honour of the martyrs and freedom fighters of the ISIS war”. This really has a feel of prison art to it. Fucking mental.
Sunnyvale’s finest sons Godstomper, with their 2001 full length follow up to the irascible ‘Heavy Metal Vomit Party’, 22 listed trax/99 coded trax of godlessly noisy-as-all-sin Bass & Drums barbaric Punk Noisecore violence. Godstomper’s periphery to OG proper West Coast Power Violence is ever present in their stop/start/slow/fast drawn out song structure style, riff slaw Bass nailbomb detonation, cyclical blasting drums chaos and simply furious fills styles, blown the fukk out tape recorded Bass string violence, dense as hell with flesh-ripping mid Bass sound and overwhelming peaked drums, all encrusted with fuzz and grime. ‘Hell’s Grim Tyrant’ has a South American Noisecore sound and vibe to it, like Attaque Sonico or Cacasonica, but with crustier Punk leanings. Fucken stoker!
Sludge is viewed by many as the runt of extreme metal’s litter, an ostensible hybrid of hardcore punk and doom that too often manifests in by-rote reiterations of the loud/quiet fast/slow dynamic that’s been dallying with the hackneyed for at least the last two decades. A never more opportune time then for the incursion from far left field of shadowy French quartet Bishop, whose nightmarish debut full-length keel-hauls sludge to death then reanimates its gore-slathered cadaver as a pitiless, soul-harvesting avatar. Closer to the claustrophobic cacophony of Swans circa ‘Raping A Slave’ than Eyehategod and Buzzov*en, ‘Bishop’ isn’t greyscale, it’s blackscale, a Stygian sphere of compacted wretchedness so colossally dense, your limbs run the risk of being torn from their sockets should you stray so much as a millimetre too close to its event horizon. Precipitous waves of prime-evil riff distortion, girder-fracturing bass and psychotically unhinged drum derangement merge into a morass of suffocating noise made all the more harrowing by the tormented shrieks of pain and rage that permeate it. Seemingly birthed from a slough of incalculable despond and cataclysmic enough to trigger a gravitational wave event, ‘Bishop’ joins Divide And Dissolve’s ‘Gas Lit’ as one of 2021’s most original and exacting sludge metal records. Get anointed.
Broadly speaking, there are only two types of techno producer; those who fuck about, and those who don’t. Slovenian industrialists Warhorse fall emphatically into the latter category as evidenced by ‘Atlatl’, by some distance the most addictive discharge of rancorous aural effluvium it’ll be your pleasure to get smoked by this side of Christmas. Clearly disdainful of the tweak and twiddle brigade and their stultifying micro-manoeuvres, Warhorse pursue a hardline scorched earth production policy here, slashing and burning their way to headfuck nirvana with scant regard for the hardware they destroy in the process. Backing up the threat implied by its track titles (they’re all named after torture devices, mediaeval and more modern), ‘Atlatl’ applies the thumbscrews the moment the needle drops and just keeps on tightening them. A viscous agglomeration of angle-grinder bass, radioactive synth splatter and diseased kicks that burst like bodies on a battlefield, this is sadism you can dance to although it’ll probably blow your legs off. If you’re content to watch techno’s freight train coast gently into a buttercup-strewn siding, please look away now. If, on the other hand you’re the sort of casualty vampire longing for it to hit the mainline buffers at suicidal velocity and catapult fifty tons of scrap iron straight onto Starbucks’ veranda, pull up a deckchair. Crushingly good.
One-human Cybergrinding Noisecore from Japan. Free flowing, process oriented and formed in extreme pressure chambers, dense and overdriven Myspace-era Cybergrind reminiscences in a poorly erased memory bank, reinterpreted to Noisegrinding magnificence – rendering mammalian brainstems obsolete! AI generated hypergrind, reams of psychedelic blasting programmed drum concussion and/or midistrings electronics dissonance in the extreme, pealing out looped melodies to aggravate and scramble, tracks stopping and starting without warning. This first release is without vocal accompaniment, too. Heirs of early 2000’s Myspace Grind genetics mixed right out of the test tube to inoculate new and bio-variable Noisecore forms. If you dig on Kusari Gama Kill or A Beautiful Lotus, I recommend allowing Grindtamagotchi to delete your idiot protein-based consciousness.
Florid, aromatic Ambient plunderphonics, at a nexus between found sound appropriation and minimalist arrangement, rainswept ambience and chilling harmonics besmoke the mind in vapourous swelter and numbing melodious introversia. “…stressful and fast paced traditional Chinese folk music…” sampled from 1950’s pressed 10″s & slowed to Vaporwave appreciable screwed speeds and decontextualized within gorgeously simple nature field recordings to ecstatic and meditative result, unique in it’s measured instrumentation, singular sound sourcing and slow pace. If this qualifies as Vaporwave it’s entirely without much of the genre’s anti-capitalist contextual limits, but ripe to burst with lulling, somnambulist nostalgia audial event. Wavy, baby. Check out the small blurb on the Fireflower Foundation Bandcamp page for a little more insight and context into the samples on this release.
A relic of beautiful recovered dumpster music, left behind at the death of Spring Productions, curated and preserved by Jay Watson of the impressively sprawling oddity head shop that is Placenta Recordings. 5 long-ish pieces of Arabic psychedelic Pop/Folk passion. I recon a couple of these songs might be sort of standards, the complex instrumentation is enticing and melodious, rousing and enveloping with rapturous and intense folkish vocal and modal swirling rhythms captured on wobbly tape, then after a quick wash of radio advertisements we are treated to a speaker cone destroying Harsh Noise remix from Watson’s own Dental Work. Killer lo-fi, no audience excellence. Placenta Recordings is further out than you or I. Dude is covering bases others can’t see here.