[Music] Midnight Radio – NOIR JAZZ


I never thought I’d review a Signora Ward release here, namely due to a prejudice I’ve developed against modern noise, as too many releases sound like some idiot kid flipping on the vacuum and then recording it, and THEN having the nerve to expect someone to pay for that garbage.  Thankfully, I was wrong about this particular label.  Perdonami, Signora!

This compilation is a teachable moment for me.  Never, ever judge a record label by one or two releases, as every one of them have the capacity to surprise you with something utterly brilliant.

Thanks to groups like the Orchestra of Mirrored Reflections (friends of the blog whose works have been reviewed here in the past) and the Kilimanjaro Darkjazz Ensemble, I’ve begun to fall in love with the deep, creepy, noir-ish sounds they emanate.  Signora Ward have done a service in collection some of the leading lights of the darkjazz genre together to make one of the most enjoyable collections I’ve heard in a while.

I’ll do well to pay more attention to this label in the future!

[Music] Hot 8 Brass Band – Love Will Tear Us Apart


Yes, that Love Will Tear Us Apart!

The Hot 8 Brass Band came to my attention with their cover of Marvin Gaye’s Sexual Healing arranged for a brass ensemble.  The band has soul and have no trouble giving life to older songs, but would they be able to give such life to one of the darkest post-punk ‘love’ songs ever made?  The results are pretty astounding.

Below is the official video.

[Music] Reptilicus & Senking – Unison


There are times when bleak post-Industrial music can be absolutely rhythmic and beautiful.  A case in point is the release by Artoffact Records’ of a performance by Iceland’s finest dark-electronics project Reptilicus.  This was a performance done in Toronto, Canada, organized by Praveer Baijal, founder of the seminal Toronto label Yatra-Arts, on the happy occasion of new output in the form of a 7-inch release after a (far too) long period of inactivity.  For the performance, they were joined by Germany’s Senking, Denmark’s Rúnar Magnússon, and Candian duo Orphx.

The group recorded a session at Grant Avenue Studio in Hamilton, Ontario, built my Grammy Award-winning producer and musician Daniel and Bob Lanois and  after Baijal introduced Reptilicus to William Blakeney, who at the time was producing a modular-synthesizer documentary called I Dream of Wires.

This collaboration bore fruit in the recording you hear here.  A lot of the material is reminiscent of early Industrial experiments (think more about early Cabaret Voltaire than Throbbing Gristle or NON), yet with a far crisper, dynamic sound.  Reptilicus has since become augmented with Rúnar serving as third member, and it is our hope that this unit continue to record.

[Music] black (w)hole – altered states


black (w)hole are an Austrian drone-psych band who are covering similar ground to Masaki Batoh’s legendary group Ghost.  Don’t think that this is their only influence, however.  One can hear shards of Blue Cheer, The Melvins, and other Japanese psych bands like High Rise and White Heaven. This is well-recorded, powerful, and drone-laden enough to let your mind melt for a few moments. Recommended.

[Music] Necromishka – The Space Between Us

This is another weird, nearly terrifying, yet wonderful work from the nexus of musicians floating around Tel-Aviv and involving Tamar Singer.

Necromishka continue the neofolk tradition, mixing it with some of the hallucinatory vibe which gave early Current 93 its power.  The vocals in Beast of Prey, for instance, are slowed down to something so eerie that they should have belonged to a character in a David Lynch movie.

The other tracks give the feel of the soundtrack that should be made, if anyone is insane enough to try it, of Isadore Ducasse’s ur-Surrealist masterpiece, Les Chants de Maldoror.

[Music] Various Artists – Dezember


Umor Rex is one of Mexico’s most important record labels, and I’m frankly surprised they’re not getting more press worldwide.  Like so many cool modern imprints, they’re not sticking to one genre only.  You will find electronic music, drone, indie-folk and experimental music well-represented in Dezember.  Take some time to sample their wares!

TRACK LISTING:

1. Le Skeletonne – The riot was always alone 03:32
2. Miró Belle – A 03:17
3. Rats On No Evil Star – Tree in the green 04:18
4. S ND Y P RL RS – Dracula 02:47
5. Ibi Ego – U and Me vs. the sea master 04:20
6. The Human Elephant – Insomnia 04:01
7. Ghost Birds – Drama (how I hate) 02:46
8. Cars And Trains – I Know Someone Who Cant Recognize 04:38
9. Hardman Bros – Change The Mode 01:11
10. Tidy Kid – Those Red Paintings 02:30
11. Ponk – Sleeves II 03:38
12. Anthna – Loving Raw Bands 06:28
13. Tidy Kid – Bus Stop 01:40
14. Nicholas Szczepanik – The Short / Lived 04:39