I’m tempted to say that this release came from out of nowhere, but that simply wouldn’t be true. Once again, my good friend Raffaelle from Eighth Tower Records releases a bombshell of a release for those of you who are into drone, especially of the kind made by luminaries like Thomas Köner or the Cold Meat Industry roster.
Jeton is a Macedonian sound artist from Struga, Macedonia, who goes deep in for bleak, rumbling sounds which give you a good shaking, especially if you decide to download the FLAC file and hear it on great headphones.
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.
Justin Broadrick should be a name very familiar to you if you were ever a fan of Napalm Death, Jesu, or my two personal favorites from his oeuvre, Godflesh and Techno-Animal. Bandcamp Daily references his newest material (which has sat around, in some cases, for nearly two decades), JK Flesh.
Zdzisław Beksiński was a Polish multimedia artist whose utopian realist works stood in stark contrast to his rather jovial personal demeanor. He may have been an artists whose work could scare the hell out of you, but he was also quite a decent man who had a fondness for classical music, as well as some rock (his son, Tomasz, was a noted DJ who committed suicide in 1999).
Once again, the brilliant folks at Eighth Tower Records, a subgroup of Unexplained Sounds, have released a compilation whose subject inspired some of the most brutally dark ambient music artists active to come up with some bleak aural monstrosities.
Unexplained Sounds empresario Raffaele Pezzella is on a quest to make sure the best in experimental and electroacoustic music gets published. It seems like, week after week, he is releasing a compilation of stunning quality from a specified region, a broad retrospective, or his own delightfully noisy work as Sonologyst.
These tracks might melt your headphones a bit, but the sounds are, in their own way, blissful. Familiar names such as Sonologyst, Stefan Schmidt, Fahmi Mursyid and Thomas Grenzebach appear alongside a slew of new artists whose career trajectory will be interesting to follow.
Another masterpiece of a comp.
When he’s not working on his own music as Sonologyst, Raffaele Pezzella of Unexplained Sounds captures a lot of attention by releasing travelogue compilations covering the best of experimental and dark ambient music from various countries and regions. This one may well be his crowning effort.
All of these, with the exception of Sharif Sehnaoui, are unfamiliar names, but the sounds, which range from slow, churning, rhythmic drone to post-Industrial noise, the compilation introduces what I’m hoping is an energetic crop of new music composers whose influence will spread quickly both inside and outside the Levant.
Could a Syrian or Iraqi electroacoustic scene be next? I surely hope so!
Ataşehir is the side project of Sumatran Black, an expatriate residing in the Anatolian side of Turkey. The music roaring out of my speakers sounds, in part, like a black-ambient version of a 1950s B-Movie sci-fi soundtrack (trust me, this is a high compliment, considering my brother and I grew up as fans of the film genre and the music it produced) and a touch like the end of the movie Solaris, where film composer Eduard Artemiev goes into a drone which grows louder and louder until it crescendoes.
There is an amusing irony that the song titles, as Ataşehir mentions on his site, “are taken from aspirational advertising slogans of various residential developments from around the world.”
There is a bleak, black beauty to this album. It ends with a progressive-rock length final track clocking in at 48 minutes. Colorful Places to Live and Play Bandcamp Exclusive Compilation Version. . As it turns out, it is the least brutally dark track on the album, making for a pleasantly drony listening experience.
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.
No, bodiless powers cannot be destroyed, but never mind the theology lesson for now. This release featuring Industrial music icons Coil, Soft Cell frontman Marc Almond and John Gosling (Zos Kia himself). It’s something akin to a holy grail for experimental music fans, and Cold Spring should be lauded for releasing this gem.
Our friend Santiago Fradejas has returned with his most powerful album to date. From what I understand, these soundscapes were all done with an electric guitar. He makes the most out of his weapon of choice, convincingly straddling the terrains of instrumental amplified guitar music, post-Industrial, and a very eerie take on contemporary classical/avant-garde music.