Month: March 2014

Hermetic rumblings

For your consideration: a pipe organ improvisation performed by John Zorn. Drones, throbs and horrific stabs. Good stuff. Zorn’s claimed that the pipe organ was his first instrument, and the soundtrack to Lon Chaney’s silent films was deeply influential. Easy to see that here, though there is a form of weird meditation amongst the clusters.

Fun fact I discovered this morning: from the 1700s, the pipe organ was the most complex human creation until the invention of the telephone exchange. From singular communication to conversation.

Zorn speaks about the performance here:

New Arche review

My review of the debut from Arche has been published on Cyclic Defrost.

Aside from the pads which flow over the track like bioluminescent waves, there’s a lot in opener ‘Elevate’ that would sit nicely on Coil’s Time Machines. The same late-period Coil approach to roiling, unfurling sounds is present, adding mystery to a soundscape that has distinct physical/inner-ear effects if played through headphones. It’s as if the listener is zapped with a ray gun of restful unease.

You can read the rest here.

A Gaslight Radio afternoon

It’s been a busy afternoon with on-again-off-again rain. There’s a feeling of nothingness around, so it’s perfect weather to be listening to Gaslight Radio and wishing they were still touring and releasing stuff.

I’m not certain what they’re up to – I assume not much as their Facebook page hasn’t updated since 2008 – but I deeply hope that this is just a period of hibernation as they were one of the bands of the 1990s for me, up there with the magisterial Crow and The Paradise Motel for me in terms of heart-on-sleeve, depressed Arts-grad music.

This is one of the only songs of theirs I could find on YouTube. It’s from one of the two early EPs of theirs I absolutely flogged to death. So pull on a beanie and listen to the sound of endless days.

Hex Partners?

If you’re a Dirty Three or Hungry Ghosts kind of fan, this is going to be right up your alley. Doom-influenced acoustic guitar and violin with no vocals. From Canada. A description?

These are instrumental songs about our bodies, our brains, our nightmares & our failures.
We have buried our most sincere & terrible fears into these melodies & hope you can find the same catharsis by listening that we have achieved through writing them.
-s. & r.

Sounds good enough to me.

Service resumes with CONAN

I’ve been off blogging for a couple of reasons – birthday, weight loss, weird viral headaches – but am getting back into the writing in general now, so hopefully a little more will happen around here soon. Until then, enjoy this album which has – quite rightly – ripped nuts off 2014 already.

With Swans’ new release around the corner I assume it’s gonna be a good year.