Thursday, June 30, 2011
Link at CVLT NATION.
We're doing a slightly larger batch of tapes for early July and this will be released in an edition of 93. Be ready to act fast!
Tuesday, June 28, 2011
Saturday, June 25, 2011
Le Suoni Per Il Popolo battait son plein la semaine dernière et l'équipe de Pelecanus se devait de couvrir au moins un concert. Cette aventure expérimentale prend place chaque année durant le mois de juin. Le week-end dernier avait été ciblé par notre site web puisque c'était le fameux retour sur scène d'Aaron Turner, que vous connaissez tous pour sa participation dans Isis, Twilight, Lotus Eater, Old Man Gloom, Greymachine, etc. Pour notre grand bonheur, il se produisait avec deux groupes pour ce concert à la Casa Del Popolo, soit House Of Low Culture et Mamiffer.
[Retour sur] ThisQuietArmy / House of Low Culture / Mamiffer / Locrian @Casa del Popolo de Montréal le 18 juin 2011
Avant d'entamer la critique du délire auditif qu'est House Of Low Culture, je vais glisser un mot sur notre bon ami Éric de Thisquietarmy. Le musicien de drone/ambient montréalais revenait tout juste d'une tournée européenne avec Aidan Baker (de Nadja) et malgré la fatigue et les émotions fortes vécues durant son voyage, il semblait toujours aussi calme et détendu à l'approche de sa prestation. Les magnifiques et envoutantes projections sont devenues un classique pour tous les gens qui suivent Éric depuis quelque temps. Pour l'aspect musical, ce fut légèrement différent de ce que l'on pouvait voir durant ses dernières prestations à Montréal, mais de majeurs problèmes de son ont littéralement anéantis tous les efforts du musicien. L'une des enceintes semblait exploser en régurgitant les pires bruits que j'ai entendus en concert, il aura fallu attendre vingt minutes avant de voir un technicien agir… Malgré tout, la qualité était au rendez-vous et la foule a été séduite par la performance du musicien. Ce fut la réception la plus chaleureuse que j'ai pu voir d'une foule à l'endroit de Thisquietarmy. La prochaine fois qu'il ira en Europe, soyez donc de la partie.
Thisquietarmy - Live
La petite scène était inondée de claviers, pédales, batteries, guitares. Il y avait juste assez de place pour Aaron Turner et sa femme, Faith Coloccia. L'étrange projet House Of Low Culture commençait à prendre forme, Turner avait un microphone entre les mains et il nous balançait toute sorte d'effets extrêmement noise produits par diverses pédales. Par moment, nous avions droit à des délires de guitares totalement déstructurés sur sa vieille guitare noire et sa femme était dissimulée derrière son clavier pour faire du son à partir de ce qui semblait être une guitare ou une basse. Désolé pour le manque de précision, mais tous les sons étaient transformés de façon radicale. C'est avec des cris destructeurs sur des paroles qui venaient droit du cœur que Turner a conclu la déchéance musicale de ce projet. Ce fut une courte prestation de quinze minutes extrêmement difficiles pour les oreilles et le cerveau, mais qui révélait une intensité fascinante de la part des musiciens. Malgré son inaccessibilité, House Of Low Culture est une performance à ne pas manquer si vous avez la chance de les croiser sur votre parcours musical.
L'attente ne fut pas spécialement longue entre House Of Low Culture et Mamiffer, deux musiciens supplémentaires se sont joints au couple et le clavier strident de Faith fit rugir ses premières notes. Je ne suis pas spécialement fan de Mamiffer, mais je reste toujours curieux face à ce que le patron d'Isis touche. D'ailleurs, si vous croyez qu'il a oublié sont ancien groupe vous avez tort puisqu'il arbore un joli porte-clefs à l'effigie du groupe culte pour lequel il chantait et jouait de la guitare. Du moins, il porte le band à sa ceinture s'il ne le porte plus dans son cœur.
House of Low Culture live
Trêve de plaisanteries et de fanatisme concernant Isis, voici ce que Mamiffer avait à offrir. Une musique lente et précise, tout le monde était bien préparé pour cette tournée. Les harmonies au chant pouvaient paraître étranges, mais elles étaient très subtiles et prenantes. La sublime voix de Faith Coloccia se mariait à merveille avec son conjoint qui semble avoir beaucoup amélioré sa technique vocale. L'unité des compositions aurait pu devenir redondante, mais la prestation dura à peine quarante minutes et ce fut étonnamment déjà terminé. La foule semblait ravie d'avoir assisté à cette maitrise de musique rock/ambiante plutôt sympathique. Je ne retournerai peut-être pas voir le groupe en concert, mais je suis très content de l'avoir expérimenté une fois dans ma vie lors d'une magnifique soirée sur Montréal. Ma décision de ne pas les voir vus au Roadburn se confirmait quand même, Mamiffer reste meilleur en studio qu'en live.
Locrian liveToute bonne soirée nous propose une surprise, et bien croyez-moi : celle-ci fut l'une des plus grandes de ma vie. Locrian m'était complètement inconnu et je m'attendais à un noise/ambiant assez général, allez savoir pourquoi je me suis aussi imbécilement trompé? Le résultat fut massif et puissant comme un taureau. Le tout commença sur un rythme de guitare de type black métal durant pratiquement cinq minutes, ceci permit aux nombreuses machines à fumée de remplir la salle d'une vapeur effrayante et mystérieuse. Des dizaines de chandelles éclairaient subtilement la scène et nous arrivions à peine à voir les gens autour de nous.
Deux musiciens vinrent compléter l'excellent travail du guitariste. Tout d'abord, un claviériste/chanteur qui criait comme une bête avec un son totalement déformé. Il y avait aussi un batteur qui posait quelques rythmes de temps à autre, mais son rôle était beaucoup plus effacé que je ne l'aurais cru. La chose la plus importante, est qu'il ne tombait pas dans les clichés de batterie black métal comme c'est si souvent le cas.
J'étais littéralement sidéré par la performance, un grand sourire s'affichait sur mon visage durant les quarante-cinq minutes que celle-ci a duré. Je crois que ce fut la même réaction de la part de tous les spectateurs. Ce black métal noisy nous en mettait plein la gueule en ce samedi soir. La finale fut époustouflante puisqu'aux premières notes du dernier morceau, de puissantes lumières blanches rayonnèrent afin de plonger la salle dans un blanc strident plutôt que l'obscurité habituelle. L'effet fut saisissant et pour le moins inattendu, je lève mon chapeau à Locrian pour leurs efforts scéniques. Je vais assurément me mettre à découvrir davantage le groupe dans les semaines qui suivent et j'espère que cet enthousiasme vous donnera envie de faire la même chose de votre côté.
Friday, June 24, 2011
Horseback and Locrian’s unsettling LP lets you fall prey to your own demons
Horseback/Locrian – New Dominions (Utech Records)
I’ve been glibly going about my social media saying that New Dominions, the fantastic, dread-inducing new collaboration between heavy music boundary pushers Horseback and Locrain, is the perfect soundtrack for a haunted house. But there’s a lot more going on here than that, compositions that explore space and create tension in a way few other artists can even approach. But as I lay here in my dimly lit bedroom, allowing their unsettling sounds to wash over me, I can feel the fear welling up in the bottom of my stomach. There’s something genuinely terrifying about what these collaborators have created here, and it’s the record’s greatest strength.
It’s an asset that floored me on my first listen through the record, mainly because I didn’t see it coming. I’m not sure what I was expecting, but for the first minute or so, I was a little disappointed. There was nothing much happening. “The Gift,” the first of two tracks on this one-side LP, starts with lazy static blowing about and a drawn out ringing, like dragging a hammer on the outside of a bell, cutting through the background in regular intervals. There’s menace in the ringing and in the static too, but it pales in comparison to the more arresting moments in each band’s catalog.
From the lumbering monstrosities of The Invisible Mountain to the sci-fi rage of this year’s Forbidden Planet (re-released as part of The Gorgon Tongue), Jenks Miller’s Horseback project has managed to be imposing in a variety of ways. Locrian’s two 2010 LPs, Archetypes and The Crystal World, dished out all-consuming apocalypses, the former creating a cruel techno-future out of harsh electronics, the latter creating a chilly wasteland from strung-out guitar and the occasional hissing vocal. The two have been so good at invoking hopelessness and despair, I must have subconsciously expected for them to come out guns blazing, firing for the heavens.
But that has never been the M.O. for either outfit. They build elements slowly, patiently manipulating your senses until you’re ready to go wherever they want to take you. New Dominions takes this disarming subtlety farther than either group has done on their own. “The Gift” doesn’t change much over its duration, but that’s the source of its impact. Its formula evolves just enough to build bone-rattling anticipation. The static ratchets up slightly, the metallic scrapes are joined by sly prickles of sound, some steely, some electronic. You know there’s something coming around the corner, but you don’t know what. After a while Miller’s rasping vocals reveal themselves quietly, croaking and gasping like a corpse clawing his way out of the crypt. His groans take on the fears your mind builds up over the course of the song, bolstering it into something truly chilling.
The second track, “Our Epitaph,” operates similarly, though its longer running time allows to build even more nerviness. Slowly throbbing bass dominates the track, wispy feedback whirring in the background. Piercing guitar rings through as do distorted, far-off voices. Further on, a voice that’s just too quiet to make out takes hold. His foreboding tone suggests a warning, and the fact that you can’t quite make him out makes it all the more unwitting. Even if you could hear him, what he says wouldn’t make it any better. “In the atmosphere/Looming overhead/Contaminated blazes,” he says in a monologue that paints the world at its end. The words would be scary enough, but instead the artists allow the listener’s mind to do the damage on its own.
It’s for this reason that I stand by my claim that this could be the soundtrack for the greatest ever haunted house. Locrian and Horseback allow the haunting recesses inside their sound to set the mood, forcing the listener’s mind to contemplate the petrifying uncertainty within. Turn off the lights, throw this record on and your home or apartment will instantly become a gripping house of horrors. Go ahead, try it for yourself. But don’t say I didn’t warn you.
Show of the year?
by JOHNSON CUMMINS
June 23, 2011
After transporting my tired carcass down the 401 from this year’s NXNE festival in Toronto, where I caught a great set from Ty Segal and a stupendous set from legendary shoegazers Swervedriver, I was dead set on making it to the Casa on Saturday, June 18 to catch the mind-altering dark ambience and blackened metal of Locrian, my most anticipated show this year. Armed with my great expectations, this New York three-piece proved themselves to be a marrow-shaking live band that easily held everyone in Casa’s tiny confines spellbound.
Hidden behind thick sheets of fog, with a dozen candles lighting their way, this trio opened the night by weaving an amazing drone with rapidly picked black metal guitar layered underneath the analog synths and treated, screeched/chanted vocals. The guitar arpeggio of the title track from the band’s stupendous The Crystal World record was sublime, and quickly gave way to a cacophony of counter-melodies that nestled nicely between the frontal lobes. When they hit the refrain of “Triumph of Elimination,” screaming white light stormed the room and stunned the senses as the band hypnotized with tribal beats and searing frequencies that were just simply unbeatable. By the time they launched into their epic “Elevations and Depths,” most of us were actually pinching ourselves. If you missed this night of pitch-black psych, you have to check out Locrian’s amazing The Crystal World and thank me later.
Still reeling from the Locrian show, I also made it down to catch supergroup punk band OFF! at Foufounes the following night. If Locrian released the best record last year, OFF!’s box set of seven-inches, The First Four EPs, placed right behind it. OFF! just leaned back and sheared the packed room’s head off with a 30-minute set that made most so-called “old-school hardcore” bands utterly laughable. The band’s pedigree is without question, with singer Keith Morris remaining one of the most perfect punk rock frontmen of all time, albeit only once he was actually singing. If there was a sticking point here, it would have to be Morris’s between-song banter, which actually lasted far longer then their minute-long blasts. His putting the American government in the crosshairs of the 9/11 smoke screen/fear-mongering, as well as the succinct observation that most people are shit, was almost verbatim from his show two nights before at NXNE, which kind of painted him as a tired crank. Nit-picking aside, this was real-deal punk rock full of vitriol and intensity and was indeed a breath of fresh air compared with the rash of current hardcore bands romanticizing the 80s while fumbling through the blueprint. Best punk rock band of the past decade? Yep!
On Saturday, June 25, you can catch the punk fucking rock of Bludgeoned with JJ Allin, the Sluts 45 and New World Distortion at Katacombes, while Sunday hosts TV Ghost, the O Voids and Ultrathin at Il Motore. Finally, on Tuesday at Casa is Nobunny, Dead Wife and Hand Cream, featuring members of Drunk Dial and the Pink Noise. ■
CURRENT OBSESSION: LOCRIAN/CENTURY PLANTS’ DISSOLVERS JONATHAN.CUMMINS@GMAIL.COM
The Crystal World
Die beängstigendsten Bilder einer möglichen Endzeit im Kopf eines Lesers ließ in letzter Zeit wohl bloß Cormac McCarthys Roman „The Road“ entstehen (die zudem von John Hillcoat in der gleichnamigen Verfilmung ebenso eindrucksvoll visualisiert wurden) und das momentan einzige musikalische Äquivalent zu so einer runterziehenden wie auch faszinierenden Atmosphäre ist die Musik des Chicagoer Duos LOCRIAN.
Eigentlich sind sie kaum zu ertragen, die brachialen und harschen sowie todtraurigen und angstmachenden Klangwelten, die Terence Hannum und André Foisy auch für ihr drittes Album wieder geschaffen haben, sie sind gleichzeitig aber auch von einer morbiden und mitreißenden Schönheit durchsetzt, der man sich nicht entziehen kann und will.
Das Gefühl, es mit einer Beinahe-Band mit maximal elf Minuten langen Songs zu tun zu haben, das LOCRIAN mit ihren diversen Gastmusikern auf dem Vorgänger „Territories“ noch hervorriefen, ist mit „The Crystal World“ wieder verschwunden; zum schwer konsumierbaren Minimalimus ihres nur zwei Stücke, aber dennoch sechzig Minuten langen Debütalbums „Rain Of Ashes“ sind sie aber nur bedingt zurückgekehrt, zumindest nicht auf dem ersten Teil von „The Crystal World“.
Die knapp einstündige Komposition „Extinction“ auf der zweiten CD aber stellt eine Herausforderung dar, der man sich stellen sollte, um LOCRIAN wirklich zu verstehen, um das momentan Beste in der Schnittmenge aus Dark Ambient, Noise, Drone und (Black) Metal zu erfahren.
Falls ich das Ende der Welt noch erleben muss, dann bitte hiermit im Ohr.
© by Ox-Fanzine / Ausgabe #94 (Februar/März 2011)
Thursday, June 23, 2011
There are a few LAST LAST copies of this available in the Land of Decay Store.
"The polished improvisations found on "Seven Thrones", though, don't seem to need any additional instrumentation to powerfully evoke its atmospheres with striking presence and depth."
Locrian was formed in Chicago, circa 2005 as a duo of André Foisy and Terence Hannum. In the six years since their inception, the band has traded in shadowy atmospheres, dark melodies, and craggy crescendos to create their own brand of beautiful 21st century dirge. Steven Hess (Haptic) first played with the band on The Crystal World (released by Utech Records on a double cd in 2010, and reissued on limited edition vinyl in March of this year), and has since become a more permanent participant, included on the band’s newest release, New Dominions, a collaborative LP with Chapel Hill’s Horseback. Locrian played what they billed as their last show in Chicago "for some time" on June 13, though they don’t appear to be slowing down anytime soon: upcoming activity includes teaming up with Seattle’s Mammifer on an as-yet untitled album being recorded at Steve Albini’s Electrical Audio.
1. Fripp/Eno - No Pussyfooting
Just a beautiful album that I can listen to over and over again. It’s amazing that these guys made this record so long ago. We used many ideas from this album in our own way. I like the CD reissue of the album since it has some of the album played at half speed and some backwards. Either way, they sound great. (André)
The infinity room on the cover caught my attention, that and Eno’s hair. This album is perhaps one of my defining records it is beautiful, hypnotic, transcendent and amazing. Subtle but full of bombast, I watch the sunrise to “The Heavenly Music Corporation”. This is ground zero and perhaps my favorite over any King Crimson or Eno-era Roxy Music at that time for its singular unique vision. (Terence)
2. Obituary - World Demise
My favorite Obituary album. I’m a big fan of their earlier albums, but the huge riffs, experimental sections, and the weird vocals make this one stand above the others. I love Obituary because they really speak to my inner caveman.
Simple song structures—you usually can anticipate what will come next in an Obituary song, but they just do it right. The album starts with huge crushing riffs and ends that way too. As simple as this album is, there are interesting moments of creativity, like the use of field recordings, the layers of percussion, and effects on the vocals.
I find this album to be strong all the way through. Many of their old fans regard this album as being too experimental and polished, but I think it’s more interesting than any of their other releases. You might even be able to call this minimalist death metal? (André)
So we could probably list ten death metal albums that seriously influenced us Legion, Deicide, Human Waste, Suffocation, Altars of Madness, Morbid Angel, Human, Death…mainly from that early era where the genre was quite exceptional and completely non uniform. But there is something so primitive and bleak about Obituary; like someone punching you in the gut. (Terence)
3. Earth – 2
Growing up not in Seattle in the 1990s, but in the backwaters of Florida (hey Dylan Carlson is wearing a Morbid Angel t-shirt on the back of the CD), Sub Pop had this aura for me outside of most of my heavy metal listening. I would seriously check out anything on the label because it was on the label. This foolish policy led me to some amazing discoveries like Codeine, The Scientists and Steven Jesse Bernstein. It also led to some baddies too; Love Battery, Sprinkler, Dwarves, etc. 2 was a shot across the bow. Heavier than Tad, and slower than the Melvins., it made so much sense and was just impossibly dense and its been great to watch them develop into what they are today. “Like Gold and Faceted” is a masterpiece! (Terence)
4. Suicide - Suicide
This album is hypnotic, in your face, and somewhat schizophrenic. I definitely feel that this record influenced our sound, and specifically our sound on some of our upcoming releases. (André)
5. Genesis - The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway
My older brother got me interested in prog rock and this used to be one of his favorite albums which inspired me to pick it up. When I first got interested in prog rock, I was really into Yes because of all of the noodley guitar and bass. I think this early Genesis stuff consisted of better full albums than anything that Yes or any of the other big prog bands were doing at the same time though. I also think that Steve Hackett’s guitar playing is more interesting than Steve Howe’s since it was less showy; he played better as part of a band.
I can listen to this album over and over and still find new things. A really dynamic and rich recording and probably one of my favorite albums ever.
Perhaps we were influenced by the album when we made “The Crystal World” in the sense that the first disc of this album consists of the more direct concise songs and the send disc consists of the more instrumental and landscape oriented tracks. “The Crystal World” follows a similar pattern in the sense that the first disc is much more direct than then second disc, which is more free-form and nightmarish.
My favorite thing about this album is that it really tells a story (a long one), but the story is really difficult to grasp and it never quite makes total sense, which I like. (André)
6. Talk Talk – Spirit of Eden
I am a late arriver at this album and I would always hear people talk about this record but I just delayed putting it on. I am so glad I did. This is perhaps one of the most perfect human recorded expressions I can think of. So much so that I have to ration my listening to it, it is almost too good. In its sparse 6 songs it reveals longing, failure, humility, fragility and then at its core, a distinct strength. Mark Hollis’ voice goes from brittle and hushed to soul baring and raw in one song. The dynamics on this are incredible as are the textures and arrangements. (Terence)
7. Kraftwerk – Radio-Activity
We’ve all been heavily influenced by this era in German music. It was had to narrow it down, so many albums by Tangerine Dream to Popul Vuh kept popping up, but this record has the combination of haunting pop and abstract noise, electronic recordings that become melodic or rhythmic. The title track is a haunting lilting jam all the more frightening in our day and age. I also think tracks like “Intermission” “The Voice of Energy” and “News” add so much to the entire album’s feel. (Terence)
8. Throbbing Gristle - 20 Jazz Funk Greats
Probably the most accessible TG album, but still one of my favorites. I love the fact that there are these early dancey tracks and then much more disturbing and challenging ones, like “Discipline.” Dark and disturbing, yet strangely listenable-at least to my ears. (André)
This record achieves so much, for me the malice and sweet care on “Persuasion” was revelatory. The art as well, that body on the back cover haunts me. (Terence)
9. Einstürzende Neubauten - Kollapse
So the first EN record I heard was some live material from Strategies Against Architecture II. Where they lit oil on fire, beat a shopping cart, etc. and it left a huge impression on a 13 year old at that time. I think it was when Tabula Rasa was about to be released. However Kollapse blew me away, with how raw and inventive it was, how melodic and rhythmic and harsh it was. I still enjoy their catalog but this early phase arrived in my life at the right moment to encourage curious sounds and intensity. (Terence)
10. One Eyed God Prophecy - One Eyed God Prophecy
This was one of the common bands that Terence and I bonded over when we first met. They were a French-Canadian hardcore band in the 1990s. They only released one album and I still listen to it today. There used to be a few Canadian bands that played this style of heavy octave-chord chaotic crusty hardcore in the 90s and part of the 2000s. To me, Buried Inside (Canadian, but not French-Canadian) perfected this style of hardcore on the Chronoclast (Relapse) album. They had a really powerful way of building passages up and then not relenting. This is probably one of my favorite punk/hardcore albums and one that I still listen to today. Although most wouldn’t realize it, I’m positive that this influenced our sound on our earliest studio album Drenched Lands up until our newer releases. (André)
A phrase many of my old friends use when discussing the time served in the 1990s listening to hardcore music is “Does it hold up?” Sadly for the amount of albums produced very few of them actually hold up past the reputation of the acts at that time – most of who for the most part all sound the same. I would offer this LP as one of the few that lasts even though it is a close cover of Uranus’s output there is something special here. I mean, the second track on the A side is a monolith of synth, minimal drumming and a French voiceover that is longer than some of the songs. And then there’s the songs - blasts of ferocious intensity, buried shrieked vocals in some of the strangest record production for an album and just when you think it can’t get more intense they get more intense playing faster. No e-chord warrior breakdowns, no pedantic lyrics, no real credits listed and no reunion cash-in bullshit. I never saw them but this band did it right. One solid LP and then fade away, leave it for us to decide their legacy, which is surprisingly strong. (Terence)
By Dusted Magazine
Wednesday, June 22, 2011
If you're from Canada and ordered something recently then your order is all packaged up and safely waiting for the Canadian postal strike to end. The U.S. post office won't accept any packages to Canada until this is over.
Utech has copies of the Locrian/Horseback LP for sale now. The Land of Decay shop has more copies for sale as well since we sold out of our copies a couple of times already.
Thursday, June 16, 2011
"Locrian began their musical lives making music for themselves. The duo of André Foisy (electric, 12-string, and acoustic guitars, bass, tape loops, effects) and Terence Hannum (synthesizers, vocals, tape loops) first jammed the jam in their town of Chicago back in 2005, but it wasn’t until a few years later that they emerged as Locrian. While the early portion of their career saw them concentrate on the recorded medium, often with a slew of local musicians along for the ride, the pair were eventually lured to the stage to unearth their once-in-a-lifetime sonic thunderstorm. Painfully assembled and acutely constructed, Locrian’s melodies run the gamut of aural tolerances, from hushed minimal electronics to metal moods, interwoven with nods to pop, noise, experimentalism, rock, drone and the avant-garde. The addition of drummer Steven Hess has taken the band to new heights, as heard on this year’s incredible The Crystal World."
Wednesday, June 15, 2011
Tuesday, June 14, 2011
We played the same setlist that we did at the URMF on Saturday, but we tweaked some of our new compositions a bit.
It was great seeing so many friends last night and being on such a strong bill.
Our recording with Mamiffer/House of Low Culture is nearing completion. Aaron Turner and Faith Coloccia will be adding their vocal parts from their studio in Seattle and then we will begin mixing. It has been an exhausting and productive few days!
Monday, June 13, 2011
Loving pinched from The Sleeping Shaman: I’m always personally excited to hear anything new from Locrian OR Horseback, so you can imagine how much I was looking forward to THIS. The avant-drone equivalent of a particularly stellar issue of ‘Marvel Team-Up’ from heavy hitters Locrian and one-man stealth unit Horseback – two collaborative tracks on one of those pesky one-sided 12″s. However, in THIS instance the blank space on the B-side is given over to an etching by the ever-wondrous Denis Forkas Kostromitin, who also provides the beautiful cover, so I really can’t complain about the space being wasted.
Both tracks contained herein were written by Horseback mainman Jenks Miller and the titanic Locrian trio of Terence Hannum, Steven Hess and Andre Foisy in full collaboration, and it really is a match made in drone-heaven.
First track, The Gift, is a hazy miasma of bad intentions and encroaching dread, the soundtrack to a particularly harrowing scene in a particularly creepy movie. Echoing footsteps, deep-sea ambience and the far-off sound of bowed metal give the track it’s spine, a distant tolling, slowly rolling drums and an inhuman croak of a vocal provide the icing on this poisonous cake. Short and not at all sweet.
House of Low Culture / Mamiffer
Watch the bands perform the record together live at the Hideout.
Thanks to everyone who came out to the Utech festival. Every act was phenomenal. It was really nice to meet so many musicians/artists that we respect.
Our Land of Decay Shop is now sold out of our artist copies of the Locrian/Horseback collaborative LP. Please look to Utech Records if you didn’t get one from us already. Utech will have copies on sale as of June 18th.
Locrian Setlist From URMF:
1) Frozen In Ash
2) The Crystal World
3) Augury In An Evaporating Tower
4) Elevations And Depths
We have had a long weekend recording a collaborative album with Mammifer at Electrical Audio. It has been an exhausting few days, but the recording is coming out tremendously.
If you have contacted us about the Ash Borer set, then please look to Ash Borer for copies. We will have a bunch of new Land of Decay releases out in early July (probably July 1st). We have some very STRONG releases coming out, so if you would like to be the first to know about them then please email: email@example.com w/ the subject line “SUBSCRIBE.”
Sunday, June 12, 2011
Utech Records will have the remaining LPs available next week, but we're selling our artist copies now because we need gas money to get us to Montreal next weekend!
Thanks to everyone that came out to support the Utech Records festival this weekend.
Wednesday, June 8, 2011
Descriptions are not needed.
[In no particular order]
William Basinski - The Disintegration Loops I-IV (2026), A Red Score In Tile (Three Poplars)
The Necks – Hanging Garden (Fish of Milk)
Supersilent – 1-3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 11 (Runegrammofon)
Painkiller – Execution Ground (Subharmonic)
Pole – 1-3 (Matador)
Basic Channel/Chain Reaction*
Cluster – Sowiesoso (4 Men With Beards)
Pitch Shifter – Submit (Earache)
Radian – TG11 (Mego), Rec.Extern (Thrill Jockey)
Main – Motion Pool (Beggars Banquet)
Tord Gustavsen Trio – Changing Places (ECM)
Anouar Brahem – Le pas du chat noir (ECM)
GAS – Nah und Fern box (Kompakt)
King Crimson – In The Court Of The Crimson King (EG/Virgin)
Leonard Cohen – Songs of Leonard Cohen, New Skin For The Old Ceremony (Columbia)
John Coltrane, Miles Davis, Ornette Coleman*
and various 60's, 70’s & 80’s ECM LP’s, which I collect.
* = entire catalog.
Arthur C. Clark -2001: A Space Odyssey (Signet Books)
Monday, June 6, 2011
I'm always personally excited to hear anything new from Locrian OR Horseback, so you can imagine how much I was looking forward to THIS. The avant-drone equivalent of a particularly stellar issue of 'Marvel Team-Up' from heavy hitters Locrian and one-man stealth unit Horseback - two collaborative tracks on one of those pesky one-sided 12"s. However, in THIS instance the blank space on the B-side is given over to an etching by the ever-wondrous Denis Forkas Kostromitin, who also provides the beautiful cover, so I really can't complain about the space being wasted.
Both tracks contained herein were written by Horseback mainman Jenks Miller and the titanic Locrian trio of Terence Hannum, Steven Hess and Andre Foisy in full collaboration, and it really is a match made in drone-heaven.
First track, 'The Gift', is a hazy miasma of bad intentions and encroaching dread, the soundtrack to a particularly harrowing scene in a particularly creepy movie. Echoing footsteps, deep-sea ambience and the far-off sound of bowed metal give the track it's spine, a distant tolling, slowly rolling drums and an inhuman croak of a vocal provide the icing on this poisonous cake. Short and not at all sweet.
Second track, 'Our Epitaph', amps up the creep factor and slathers on the dread. A slowly see-sawing bassline, brushed hi-hat and a treated vocal that sounds like a priest giving mass from inside a deep well are to the forefront here, and just on the edge of hearing, a droning violin-like sound that makes the hairs on the back of the neck stand up. The more the track plays, the more the dread rises. More edge-of-hearing sounds creep in, a roaring as of voices howling on the wind and an electronic feedbacking tone that almost sounds like a trumpet or clarinet foremost among them. If you haven't looked over your shoulder at least once during the thirteen minutes of 'Our Epitaph' then you may well already be dead.
As I stated earlier, this is very much a dream-team for lovers of avant-drone/experimental music, and the four musicians involved mesh together as though they have been doing this their whole lives. Mysterious and creepy, altogether ooky, buy this and FEAR.
Oh and Stephen O'Malley will not be performing as part of House of Low Culture. James Plotkin, however, will be performing as part of HOLC with Aaron Turner. It's going to be a night to remember.
And seriously, Locrian performances will be very RARE after June 2011 so please come out if you're around Chicago.
Unfortunately not everyone in/near Chicago can (or will) be able to make the drive to the Utech Music Festival in Milwaukee coming up on June 11th. Luckily for them (and the people who go to the festival but can't get enough) House of Low Culture, Mammifer and RM74 will join local band Locrian for a special Chicago show the following Monday night at The Hideout. For only $8. Yeah I said it, eight fucking dollars. A show with a band that includes Aaron Turner of Isis and Stephen O' Malley of Sunn O))) should bring at least 3 times the admission price but you get all that and more for under $10! That's enough to make me consider going to both shows. Along with the Sunday night at the Neon Marshmallow Fest that would give me three straight days filled with drone, ambience and noise. Fuck it, my ears always ring already anyways. *update: according to Locrian's Facebook page this will be their last Chicago show for quite some time so take advantage of it!
1354 W. Wabansia
6/13/11 9pm $8
Buy Tickets here: Ticketfly
As I mentioned in my review of the split 7" a few weeks ago, these are easily two of my favorite artists working in the more experimentally focused metal scene (that currently doesn't have an inane genre tag, which I'm perfectly fine with). Unlike that single, this one sided LP has the two projects working collaboratively, with the results completely living up to expectations.
Jenks Miller's solo project Horseback has recently received wider exposure due to reissues via Relapse, but Horseback still remains far more complex than most other artists with a metal bent to their sound. Chicago's Locrian is now a trio after vocalist/keyboardist Terence Hannum and guitarist Andre Foisy added the accomplished experimental percussionist Steven Hess to their lineup last year. Coming off 2010's distinctly different LPs Territories and The Crystal World, they have developed into a unique balance of dark atmospheres and avant garde sounds. This release is partially a celebration of the upcoming Utech Music Festival, as these two are both the headlining acts, but it’s anything but a merchandising cash grab.
The shorter "The Gift" opens with heavily reverberated guitar noises and improvised percussion from Hess. Amidst the swirling chaos there’s guitar to be heard: rapid, sparsely effected notes that shine like a pinhole of light in the otherwise oppressive blackness. The vocals sound more like Horseback to me, so I'm guessing it’s Miller's guttural, pained vocals that instantly reminded me of Danny from The Shining. Half way in the drums lock into a more traditional rhythm, and the remainder would almost be a lush ambient piece if it wasn’t so heavy and evil sounding.
The longer "Our Epitaph" slowly lurches along over a sparse distorted bass and drum rhythm, which, when combined with the monastic, chanted vocals (which sound like Hannum, but I’m guessing), feels like a ritualistic chant, austere and focused. In the background a combination of guitar and synthesizer come together violently, slowly becoming the focus and engulfing the liturgical chants.
The thing is, this sounds not like a collaboration in the traditional sense but like a singular project that perfectly balances the influence of the individual parts. Miller's unique combination of black metal and old school minimalism perfectly matches Locrian's film-score like bleakness and juxtaposition of noise and structure. New Dominions sounds like the work of both artists, but neither one in particular. It highlights both of their strengths, blended into a perfectly unified whole that's among the best I have ever heard in this currently unnamed category of experimental metal. I just hope this isn’t the only collaboration these two bands will unleash.
Friday, June 3, 2011
Thursday, June 2, 2011
LOD 016: Persistence In Mouring "Defector Part I (Outside Looking In)" by Landofdecay
Great things were happening in New York in the eighties. Avant-garde composers players like Glenn Branca were paving the way for a new generation of rock bands to incorporate weird tunings and all sorts of other dissonant, droning noise into their music. Sonic Youth, fronted by Branca's student Thurston Moore, is perhaps the most well known band to come out of this "scene." They've been playing for decades and are still finding inventive and creative ways to manipulate sound, often to eargasmic results.
When I listen to this collaboration between Chicago's Locrian and Chapel Hill, North Carolina's Horseback, I am immediately reminded of Sonic Youth's seminal album from 1983, Confusion is Sex. I understand that many of the readers won't have any clue what I'm talking about, so I won't stretch the comparison, but as that Sonic Youth album opened up about a thousand different doors for me, as far as appreciating different styles of music is concerned, I can't help but mention it.
What Locrian and Horseback have created on this album, though reminiscent of that era, is entirely its own monster. The sonic palate may be the same, but the strokes and colors employed are without question darker, deeper, and more chaotic. The two are separated as well by the feeling that New Dominions (due out June 11th on Utech Records) is more about the journey than the destination. While Confusion is Sex felt a bit calculated and contrived, New Dominions gives off the vibe that while it is certainly taking us somewhere, neither the driver nor the passenger have any clue where that may be. The guitars test the very limits of what sounds they are capable of producing. The vocals are chaotic, fierce, and ambiguous on the first track, "The Gift", while they're much more controlled and certain on the near-14 minute "Our Epitaph." These two tracks tell the same tale, but in many ways feel like polar opposites of one another. The slow rhythm of "The Gift" allows the track to wander, while "Our Epitaph" has found at least some semblance of its way. Two sides of the same coin, if you will.
The journey is short, taking up one side of an LP (the flipside will feature a decorative etching), but that doesn't detract from the droned-out, disorienting vibe of this record; if you let it, New Dominions will get you lost; you will be in a world without order, without rules, and indeed without norms. And the best part of it is that you may not want to come back.
Keep your eyes on the Utech website; it should be available to order very soon. And if you feel so inclined, grab the old Sonic Youth album Confusion is Sex and listen to it back-to-back with New Dominions, and let me know what you think. I'd love to hear your thoughts.
Wednesday, June 1, 2011
Weirdo doom metal, this time sounding even industrial at times. Persistence in Mourning is one of the most original and unique bands in the country, so if you haven't heard them, you've waited long enough. This is the one to get. The cassette features 8 songs and nearly an hour of bleak and disturbing music. Get it now from our friends at Land of Decay.
At this juncture, I was supposed to tell you about the Ash Borer Discography 2xCS, but it promptly sold out, as should be expected when it comes to a band that fucking good. Land of Decay are out, but the band may (or may not) have copies soon. Keep your eye on their blogspot for info.
Hammer Smashed Sound just published Andy Lippoldt's (Persistence in Mourning) recent playlist. His new release is available in our webstore. Link here.
Andy Lippoldt is a recording engineer, a record label owner and a musician. He owns a recording studio in Oklahoma called The Gorgon Head, where he offers freelance tracking, mixing and mastering services. With his wife, he operates the Witch Sermon Records, through which he has released some of his own recordings, as well as cassettes from Moss, Secrets She Kept and Unearthly Trance. His solo projects are Persistence in Mourning and ZZ, and he is involved in a number of collaborative projects, including Gorgontongue (with Ganzmord), Rab'ha (with M. Chami), and RL:ZZ (with Ryan Lipinsky of Unearthly Trance). For more information, please visit http://witchsermon.wordpress.com and http://www.persistenceinmourning.com.
The Guilt Of... - The Guilt Of...
Redrighthand - They Sang And Chanted For Hours, Then Locked In Hundreds Set Themselves Ablaze
Locrian - Drenched Lands
Sinister - The Silent Howling
Ganzmord - In Praise of the Weeping Filth
Secrets She Kept - La Fin Absolue Du Monde