[Music] Various Artists – Witchcraft & Black Magic In The United Kingdom

Our friend and compatriot Raffaele Pezzalla (the legend behind Sonologyst, Unexplained Sounds Group and Eighth Tower Records) has made yet another masterful compilation, bringing together such acts as Rapoon, Michael Bonaventure and Daniel Williams to pay tribute to one of England’s quirkier periods – that of witchcraft in the British Isles.

I see the history of witchcraft from both a Christian and historical point of view which differs from what the liner notes say, but be that as it may, the compilation is solid, and I only regret I didn’t review this about two weeks ago, as it makes for great Halloween / All Souls’ Day listening.

[Music] Richard Pinhas & Merzbow – Rhizome

This release bridges the not-so-large gap between genres, connected by Heldon guitarist and loop master Richard Pinhas, and perhaps the most prolific post-Industrial composer of all time, Masami Akita (under his performance monicker Merzbow).

This is a live recording performed live during the Sonic Circuits Festival, September 24, 2010 at La Maison Française [The French Embassy] in Washington D.C.  The sound quality is superb, and as one would expect from two masters of their respective fields, their instruments of choice (guitar and loops for Pinhas, computer for Merzbow) ebb and flow into each other effortlessly.  This is a powerful release, and I hope it is the beginning of a long-term collaboration between both.

[Music] JOHN 3​:​16 – JOHN 3​:​16 / Visions Of The Hereafter

JOHN 3:16 are among the most powerful bands in dark ambient and drone music today.  Philippe Gerber continues to amaze with his catalog, but this release is particularly special, as I never had the chance to delve into their early catalog.

This release combines the first two albums by the band onto one cassette.  Both releases remind me not just of dark ambient music, but of the middle period post-Industrial and experimental music I grew up with.

Favorable is not a strong enough word to rank this release.  It’s quite powerful.

[Music] Michael Bonaventure – In Tenebris Ratione Organi

Raffaele Pezzella of Eighth Tower Records continues to show what a magical ear he has for new music artists.  His latest release is by composer Scottish composer Michael Bonaventure, who makes full use out of the organ.  There are bits of sci-fi music, creepy soundtrack clips, electroacoustic music in the style of Pierre Henry’s freakier compositions, and a hazy, psychedelic vibe throughout.  It’s not overpowering, either, which I think adds to the enjoyment of listening to this record.  It’s challenging without beating you over the head with racket.  A job well done.