[Music] Batavia – Quite Mean Spirited

For those of you into Industrial metal, goth metal and that sort of thing, I have to say that Batavia are not doing too shabby of a job. From their press release:

Batavia is a gothic industrial band from Jacksonville FL, the band is comprised of husband and wife duo Terri and Ed Cripps. The story of Batavia is less about the band, but more about the people behind it. The two had been acquainted years ago and reconnected only by chance. The chemistry between them was immediately apparent and scarcely has there been a day where they have been apart sir. They were married in November of 2019 in a retro arcade in downtown Jacksonville, before an Addams Family pinball machine, in true nerdy-goth fashion. Both being musicians, having strikingly similar musical tastes and already doing everything else together, it was a natural step to form a musical project. 
Terri’s comeuppance was in the Madison WI scene. She began playing piano and singing from a very young age. Ed spent most of his formative years playing in bands in the Providence and Boston area. He had been recording from his teenage years on, starting with primitive tracker software and thrift shop synthesizers to score video game mods.

They both came into the punk and industrial scene during its 90s stride and draw much of their inspiration from the music of that era; Skinny Puppy, 16Volt, C-Tec, Godflesh as well as goth and post-punk bands The Jesus and Mary Chain, The Smiths and a litany of other influences.

Batavia’s music is an amalgamation of all those influences, using those textures as a framework and building into new directions, painting vibrant pictures, exploring new ideas and to make more of the music they would want to listen to themselves.

Batavia are signed to Tigersquawk Records.

The newest release from Batavia, titled ‘Quite Mean Spirited‘, is an exploration of malevolence and what drives the human soul to inflict indignities upon their fellow beings.

The recording took place in our home studio in Jacksonville FL, with marathon recording and writing sessions spanning several weeks. 
The title song delves into justification of inflicting vitriol through the veil of tribalism by means of a bleak, brooding goth-rock drone. To break the morose subject matter, track 2 is a jaunty cover of The Jesus and Mary Chain’s Upside Down‘, delivered in industrial metal fashion.

Tracks 3 and 4, ‘Ab Initio‘ and ‘Finis‘, are two parts of a whole. Based on the true story of a woman in 1930s Soviet Russia who was taken from her home and sent across the sea to an island prison. Shortly after her arrival, she was assaulted by the guardsman. When she turned to her fellow prisoners for help, they instead tied her to a tree and cannibalized her. ‘An Initio‘ is based on a sailor song that was adopted by the Red Army during this time. ‘Finis‘ is a dreary, gothic orchestral illustration of the terror and despair this woman must have experienced.

Track 5, ‘The Absinthian‘, paints a picture of the malice in the individual. There are no questions to be asked, but a cavalier affidavit told from the perspective of unrepentant malevolence. A representation of the evil that lives in each and every one of us at its purest form in the form of a man. 
Track 6 closes the EP with a remix of the title track, provided by Leæther Strip

[Music] Ocean – Ocean

My friend Henning Küpper is the impresario of Lollipope Shoppe, perhaps the first indie label whose work introduced me to everything from psychedelic music and weird Russian rock. For this, I owe Henning a massive debt.

Continuing his amazing curative abilities, he released an album New York-based psych-folk band Ocean. This mellow folky freakout was released in 1969, but the stereo tapes were lost thanks to their label, Apostolic Studios, went under. Thankfully, guitarist John Townley saved a mono recording, and after Lollipope Shoppe polishing, it is available again after 51 years.

[Music] Hobo Blues Band – Hey Joe

Having spent a week in August during my 50th birthday celebration and being hosted by my friend, Béla, I was treated to some new Hungarian bands I had, up until this point, never heard of. One which stood out was the Hobo Blues Band.

The Hobo Blues Band (bio in Hungarian, so use a translator) were active between 1978 and 2011, and they took a lot of musical cues from The Beatles, The Rolling Stones and, of course, Jimi Hendrix.

Their rendition of Hey Joe is very impressive, and I have to say, the lyrics sound very melodic in Hungarian.

[Music] Various Artists – Anthology Of Persian Experimental Music Vol. II

September 4 is one of those Bandcamp Fridays where the company doesn’t take its normal commission in order for the artists to either make a bit more money or donate it to the cause of their choice. Though well over 1,500 releases flooded by email inbox today, there was one which came to me from a dear friend of the blog, Raffaele Pezzella (owner of the incredible Unexplained Sounds Group, whose compilations never fail to impress.

This one is a second batch of Iranian dark ambient and experimental music composers, featuring such maestros as Xerxes The Dark, Reza Solatipour, Force Ignore and a host of names which are not only new to me, but who have managed to capture my interest rather quickly.

Today, of all days, is a fine one to introduce yourself to a fresh batch of music from Iran’s dark ambient wellspring.

[Literature] Stuck With Pound

From the Kirk Center:

Cathay: A Critical Edition
by Ezra Pound,
Edited by Timothy Billings.
Fordham University Press, 2019.
Hardcover, 364 pages, $35.

The Bughouse: The Poetry, Politics, and Madness of Ezra Pound
by Daniel Swift.
Farrar Straus and Giroux, 2017,
Hardcover, 320 pages, $27.

A lot of my colleagues and friends enjoy Ezra Pound, as of course do I. Some have a far deeper grasp of his work than I do, mainly because I come through it from a historical angle rather than from a purely literary one.

J. L. Wall writes on Pound, the new edition of Cathay, and the giant mark he left on 20th Century literature.

You can read the article HERE.

HT: Arts & Letters Daily

[Music] Various Artists – Latin Underground Revolution vol. 2: More swinging Boogaloo, Guaguancó, Salsa & Latin Soul from New York City 1968​-​1972

New York City, despite its current malaise, will always be the mecca of music in the United States. There is no popular genre of music that didn’t explode there at one time or another. Surprisingly, it took a Swiss record label, Rocafort Records, to document the boogaloo, guaguancó and salsa scene in such a concise way. The company specializes in Latin music, and this disc features acts like Orquesta Olivieri, Ozzie Torrens and the Brooklyn Sound. Each track makes you want to raid the dance floor.

[Music] CULT CLASIC: SUPER ELCADOS-TOGETHER IS ALWAYS A GOOD VENTURE-TAMBOURINE PARTY VOLUME 2. — dereksmusicblog

Cult Classic: Super Elcados–Togetherness Is Always A Good Venture-Tambourine Party Volume 2. During the early sixties, a musical revolution took place in Ghana, when musicians started combining elements of West African musical genres including highlife and fuji music which they fused with American funk and jazz. Playing an important part important part in this new […]

CULT CLASIC: SUPER ELCADOS-TOGETHER IS ALWAYS A GOOD VENTURE-TAMBOURINE PARTY VOLUME 2. — dereksmusicblog

The ever-wonderful Derek’s Music Blog introduces Super Elcados, a wild band out of Ghana. You can hear the tracks from the album here at their Bandcamp site, courtesy of British label Mr. Bongo Records.

[Music] Kenny Millions & Sergey Kuryokhin – Dear John Cage

Muteant Sounds is a net label out of Florida who have reissued a minor treasure. This album pairs saxophonist Kenny Millions (born as Keshavan Maslak) and pianist Sergey Kuryokhin in what is a minor minimal masterpiece.

This is a two-track album, with the first track going into an eerie minor-key romp for twenty-five minutes, giving one the chills. The second track gets a touch more noisy, but maintains the aura of a film noir soundtrack.

Though Kuryokhin has been reposed for around 25 years now, his influence in the Russian improvisational scene still looms large, as does Millons‘.