Archive | October, 2011

Obake mixtape on Italian blog Dissonanze

28 Oct

OBAKE is a word which refers to a class of Yokai, Japanese preternatural creatures, and whose strict translation is “A Thing That Changes” or “Shapeshifter” but is often also loosely taken to mean “Ghost” or “Ghost of a deceased human being”. It is also the name of a band formed by some fantastic musicians, one of whom, experimental guitarist and producer Eraldo Bernocchi, has just compiled a killer mix which is available for streaming on the Italian blog Dissonanze.

Obake represents the meeting point of four impressive strands of musicianship and four remarkable careers spanning very diverse genres of music. Obake absorbs all of influences into a cohesive and wildly powerful new whole and the result is one almighty debut which is released on Rare Noise Records this week.

Also the name of their self-titled debut, Obake is the place where the energies of Doom and Drone Metal fuse with ambient electronica, noise, the exactness of math-rock, the groove of blues undercurrents harking back to the dawn of hard-rock and the fluid lyrical delivery and musings of a commanding operatic voice. Obake build on the foundations of these different genres and creatively meld them with expert precision, the amalgam of musical elements come together most aptly on the tracks ‘Human Genome Project’ and ‘The Omega Point’, both of which can be sampled on the Rare Noise Jukebox.

Imposing in its darkness, encompassing in its beauty and always powerful, Obake is a captivating listen from start to end and a highly impressive debut. A record that will surely appeal to fans of Sunn 0))), Popul Vuh, Ashra Tempel as much as Slayer, Melvins and Coil.




Dragged Into Sunlight confirmed for Roadburn’s Afterburner 2012

27 Oct

Battering your aural nerve endings with the blackest sludge mainlined from the depths of hell, Dragged Into Sunlight evokes pure horror in a manner making Dennis Nilsen seem sane. With Billy Anderson at the helm of their debut album, Hatred for Mankind, is a masterpiece devoid of everything, descending into relentless sonic hell.

Dragged Into Sunlight is NOT a band for the weak – this is thick, sweeping riffage by the ounce, hellish vocals and thundering, redlined tom-heavy drums that ripsaw their way into your guts, causing blunt force trauma that only the select few could ever endure. Only the most downright Roadburners will be able to handle such a soundscape of total negativity aesthetic. We’re up for it! Are you?

Dragged Into Sunlight, along with technical thrash metal legends Coroner, Bongripper and Fleshpress will appear on Sunday, April 15th at the 013 venue, Tilburg, Holland.

Prior to that, they will appear at Damnation Festival Saturday 5 November.

Christina Vantzou releases video for ‘Prelude For Juan’

27 Oct

Christina Vantzou releases her sublime solo album No.1 on Kranky this week and to mark the occasion, she has released a beautiful video for one of the songs from the album, ‘Prelude For Juan’ which you can view on Youtube, along with another video for ‘Homemade Mountains’.

Christina Vantzou is an artist, musician, and composer. She was born in Kansas City, studied at the Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore (1997-2001) and moved to Brussels in 2003 where she currently resides. Christina is known for her work with The Dead Texan (kranky) as well as in a variety of creative mediums including video, drawing, and animation.

After various collaborations and a short tenure as a touring member of Sparklehorse in the summer of 2007, Christina began composing the music for this album. She worked in isolation over a three year period using synthesizers, samples, and her voice. Then, a long distance collaboration with Minna Choi, director of Magik*Magik Orchestra transformed the sprawling 45 minute single track into a score for a 7 piece orchestra, resulting in a two day recording session with Magik*Magik at TIny Telephone studios in San Francisco. The album was finally mixed in Brussels with production assistance from Adam Bryanbaum Wiltzie (Stars of the Lid).

While these works certainly orbit in the same musical galaxy as those of Stars of the Lid and The Dead Texan, Vantzouʼs compositions are more grounded and concerned with the terrestrial as opposed to the extra-terrestrial symphonies of the former, and are full symphonic movements as opposed to the shorter pop structures of the latter. These works also draw parallels to a number of late 20th century composers who concentrated on layering the string sections of orchestras while steering clear of bombastic brass and percussion elements. What becomes immediately apparent upon listening is that Christina Vantzou is a powerful new voice in contemporary neo-classical composition.

To find out more about her, visit





MoRkObOt new album out this week

27 Oct

Morbo, the latest full-length from instrumental Italian noise juggernaut MoRkObOt, is now officially available to thrill-seeking musical deviants worldwide via Supernatural Cat Records. Skillfully created by MoRkObOt’s standard setup — simply utilizing two bass guitars and a drum kit — Morbo presents the rabid trio bringing forth thirty-seven minutes of their heaviest, most audacious musical mayhem to date.

Stream Morbo in its entirety via Supernatural Cat now!

Having just returned from a massive European venture supporting Ufomammut, the talent and energy harnessed within the confines of the mysterious clan is becoming vastly apparent to open-minded extreme music consumers and concertgoers as tons of live footage from multiple performances along of the 23-date tour routing is infesting the Internet this month.

MoRkObOt is a totally suggestive instrumental sonic monster. A magmatic and liquid atmosphere lead the listener to a psychedelic and chaotic world in which vibrations become dense like glue, light and darkness are continuously turning in a nonstop changing lysergic noise. Musically, this Italian trio is the perfect mid-point between robotic mechanisms and organic humanity. From John Zorn to Black Sabbath, the Melvins vs. Dyse, Don Caballero meets Lightning Bolt in an alien delirium…

Jackhammer percussion and bowel-rupturing bass riffs occasionally settling into a crushing circular groove, before all elements are broken down and then rearranged like pieces of some incomprehensible mathematical puzzle. Come and have a go if you think you are avant-garde enough.” – ROCKSOUND

MoRkObOt’s intertwining riffs are perfectly pitched between the rubbery flamboyance of Primus and the soul-devouring darkness of prime King Crimson. Sonically it’s a joy, the drums thrusting forward, the twin basses pleasingly distinct from each other – one with plenty of snaggletooth bite, the other providing warm, fuzzy, inviting depth.” – ROCK A ROLLA

Somewhere in the vortex of molten bass and schizophrenic time-signatures there’s a solid groove at play. It can help to think of it as an unholy musical three-way between Keelhaul, Primus and Kraftwerk but, while the mental visuals of that tryst may be too horrific to imagine, the output is delicious. It’s a dizzying swirl of robotic blips and bleeps and kitchen-sink percussion that can either be hypnotically persistent (MoR) or unpredictably twisted.” – SKINNY

Supernatural Cat has once again come up with the goods as far as heavy and all-out-bonkers music is concerned… It remains fresh, fast and interesting throughout, with the total running time short enough to not hit Boredom City. With more than just a Big Bottom low end, Morkobot offer a whole concept of weirdness to accompany what has got to be one of the most brazen examples of robot rock currently available.– SLEEPING SHAMAN

In relating news, Bruno from label mates OvO recently did a great interview for Silbermedia which I strongly recommend you read. Finally, for more information about MoRkObOt or Supernatural Cat, please go to the following links:

Utech Records launch Halloween sale

25 Oct

One of my favourite record labels outside the realms of Rarely Unable have just announced a Halloween sale of 20% off items, looking at the list there are some pretty special items too. Go on, be a devil and treat yourself!

Ides of Gemini sign to Neurot

5 Oct
IDES OF GEMINI sign with Neurot Recordings; make Bay Area debut at Blood, Sweat + Vinyl Music & Film Festival in Oct 
Sera Timms’ voice is a national treasure. It’s a reverb-soaked choir of 4AD ghosts floating over scratchy guitars. Burzum scoring a spaghetti western. This stuff gives me chills. Cosmo Lee of Decibel magazine on IDES OF GEMINI
IDES OF GEMINI is a collusion of musical forces precipitated by the haunting and inimitable vocal prowess of singer/bassist Sera Timms, also of Los Angeles dark-psych alchemists BLACK MATH HORSEMAN. The compositions are the long-simmering mental fallout of veteran music and film journalist J. Bennett (guitar/backing vocals), who has spent most of the last 13 years writing for such publications as DecibelTerrorizerRevolver,Alternative Press and Thrasher. The third and final corner of the triangle is Kelly Johnston, whose martial drumming techniques and soaring backing vocals literally brought IDES OF GEMINI to life as a performing entity.
Last year, Timms and Bennett recorded and self-released IDES OF GEMINI’s four-song EP, The Disruption Writ, which was anointed “My Favorite Demo of 2010” by the highly influential music blog Invisible Oranges. Lyrically, the songs detailed the terrifying permanence of dismemberment in all its unsettling forms: psychological, emotional and physical. Musically, though? Someone on the Internet called it “dream doom.” Nobody likes to be pigeonholed, but IDES OF GEMINI will gladly take up temporary residence in that particular nook for the sake of shorthand. Which is to say that “dream doom” will do the trick for now. And now is nothing if not fleeting. Mostly because IDES OF GEMINI are about to record their full-length debut, set for release via Neurot in the Spring of 2012.
It’s all about that moment—that moment when a piece of music comes seemingly from nowhere and is exactly what you were looking for, but you didn’t know it,” says Neurot boss and NEUROSIS guitarist/vocalist Steve Von Till. “I remember the moment when Ides of Gemini warped my brain. I received an email from Scott Kelly in May. The subject heading was simply, ‘J. Bennett’s band is killer!’ and had a link. I had known J. for a while as a stalwart supporter of all that is good and heavy out there, but I had no idea he made music. I clicked the link and was completely hypnotized for the duration of the demo. As soon as it ended and I realized I had been completely captivated, I replied to Scott’s email: ‘Totally fucking killer.’ Then I immediately emailed J. and told him how awesome I thought it was. A few conversations later, and we were working together.  It was beautiful and meant to be. Ides of Gemini is amazing!
We’re not religious people, but getting the nod from Steve Von Till and Scott Kelly is like getting onstage only to find Moses and John The Baptist in the front row, wearing your band’s t-shirts,” Bennett enthuses. “And we don’t even have shirts yet, which makes it all the more incredible. The point, though, is this: The impact NEUROSIS has had on our psyches over the years is immeasurable. ‘Honored’ doesn’t quite cover it. But before anyone gets too excited, I should also probably mention that we sound nothing like NEUROSIS.
IDES OF GEMINI will make their Northern California debut at the Oakland Metropolitan Operahouse on October 15th as part of the Blood, Sweat + Vinyl Music & Film Festival alongside Bay Area greats OXBOW and EVANGELISTA. The night will also mark the DVD release of filmmaker Kenneth Thomas’ new documentary, Blood, Sweat & Vinyl: DIY in the 21st Century, which highlights the music and inner workings of three of the finest independent labels currently in operation: Hydra Head, Constellation, and—you guessed it—Neurot.
This Just In: 2/3 of IDES OF GEMINI—Sera Timms & J. Bennett—will also be performing a rare cover song on Oct. 20th as a part of Murder Ballads, an annual event sponsored by the L.A. Record and held at the Echoplex in Los Angeles, featuring artists reinterpreting homicidal folk songs of old.
You can begin your research into Ides Of Gemini by checking out the video for “Martyrium Of The Hippolyt” on YouTube and by checking out the music on the following links:
I hope like me, you will look forward to hearing more from them in 2012.