A perfect match between darkest ambient producer Ruairi O’Baoighill and folk experimenter Grey Malkin. What we have here is a very complimentary collaboration that sees the two approaches illuminate each other’s work.
Ruairi’s otherworldly production and soundscapes make Malkin’s contributions feel like musical spectres wandering through the sonic fog Ruairi conjures. Yet Malkin’s contributions make a distorted familiarity that creates a more relatable space.
With guest contributions and samples in the mix, it gives the album the feel of a strange journey. For some reason it makes me think of old Victorian ghost stories that revolve around train journeys.
I think by now you should know from my reference points whether this is your sort of thing or not. If they chimed with you then you should absolutely buy this folk horror odyssey.
we have rabidly reviewed this space sludge masterpiece
You can always count on Riot Season Records to bring something innovative AND heavy. Case in point – Machiavellian Art. A sort of sludge metal Hawkwind. So brutally heavy it could crush a skyscraper yet there’s this space rock core at the center of it. When he’s not doing a crust punk roar, the singer lets rip with some blistering saxophone. There’s fuzzy noises amidst the guitar tsunamis. The bass lines could make cheese on toast out of a goat and a sack of wheat in five seconds flat. Listening to this stuff on your headphones and you’d be able to make a third set of devil horns with your mind. The only question is which planet that devil occupies.
earths most reliable sonic cosmonauts are back
First recording featuring the new four piece line-up so nobody has to multi-task now and the results feel very effective. This one features some of their sweetest riffing yet and when it’s set to a huge, swirling sea of sound and pushed on its way by the crashing rhythms, it sounds positively heroic.
Carlton Melton have always made the most engrossing musical landscapes that a listener could possibly wish to lose themselves in but this time it feels both more focused and more spontaneous
This is the finest Californian headfood you could wish for. Sail on, everyone!
The first classic album of 2023 is here
a rare book review but if you like folk horror, hauntology and the BBC Radiophonic Workshop then you need this..
A gripping tale of an alternative timeline where the government performed occult rituals in BBC Basements during World War 2 and the BBC Radiophonic Workshop (or rather their equivalent in this timezone) discover the tapes to devastating consequences.
The format is very unique, the story presented as a film script on the left page and illustrated on the right. The design and illustration is outstanding with every page demanding your eyes embrace it yet it never clashes with the film playing in your head, serving as a sort of leader for your imagination.
There’s also plenty of prefaces and appendices as Gubby began by telling this story through multi-media performances including a night in a bunker and an actual festival on an active military base. All this is presented with flyers, event photos and even schematics. Very handy context for those of us who never had a hope in hell of attending.
There’s a lot going on in this story. A central thread being the BBC Radiophonic Workshop and with most central characters being analogous to actual composers who worked at the Workshop, though you don’t need to know anything about the Workshop to enjoy the story [however, if you would like to know more then you should read my book!]. Then you’ve got witch cults, haunted electronics, cursed recordings and soundwaves as a means to revolution with some sex and violence thrown in too (not at the same time).
All that draws a Venn diagram of pertinent themes with ‘The Delaware Road’ right in that perfect sweet spot at the center. It would make one hell of a movie, for sure, but it also works great in this format. I practically inhaled it, only stopping to read due to the demands of work and life.
My copy even came stunningly wrapped in printed paper with art prints and postcards and radiation pills. The strong visual aspects echoing the multi-media origins of the tale. Once you’ve consumed the story, the book’s stunning visual aesthetics means you’ll still not be letting it go and enjoying a flick through the art many a time. I suspect I’ll be lured back in to reading it all again by that art in the none too distant future.
I mostly buy ebooks these days due to space constraints but this was one I had to have a physical copy of on my shelf and if you’re the sort of person who reads this website, I suspect you need one too.
We tuck into another wonderfully bewildering Laibach release
I’ve been following Laibach now for thirty years and somehow I keep on being surprised. It’s as inevitable as death and taxes now. Nothing could have prepared me for the song “Love Is Still Alive”. It’s a beautiful country pop song that makes me laugh and beam from ear to ear.
The song describes how the earth has been destroyed but love is still alive as the narrator and his beloved ride a rocket through the Universe in search of a new home.
It perhaps makes more sense given its original context in the soundtrack to the film “Iron Sky 2” (still not seen it but the original was a hoot) but still comes as a massive bolt from the blue and a devastatingly accurate one too. As for the video, well, I don’t normally post promotional videos in the middle of reviews but I feel like pausing a moment to flag this work of art
Of course the humble medium of ‘promotional video’ has always transcended its original purpose in the hands of Laibach, a multidisciplinary collective.
As does the concept of an ‘EP of versions’. Looking at the track list you could be forgiven for thinking this is a load of remixes or alternative mixes/takes but this being Laibach its nothing so simple.
What you’re actually getting are variations on a theme, radical rearrangements of the song taking it through disco, ambient, pop, Joe Meek, dub, Vega/Rev and club music. When there are vocals, they’re often different versions.
To befuddle the listener even further, these versions often segue into one another creating the effect of “Love Is Still Alive” as being one huge, epic, far-reaching suite of sound.
If Laibach had never existed and you wrote a fictional book that matched their real-life story, you’d be panned for writing something so far fetched and unrealistic. “Love Is Still Alive” is the latest outrageous chapter and it sounds fantastic.
I love the idea of January 1st releases. I woke up to a new year and three essential new albums ready to download on Bandcamp. This one really raised my eyebrows as I’ve listened to a lot of Old Million Eye these last two years but never seen them live or heard a live recording before.
As I suspected, it’s a whole new angle on the project. There’s still that whole psychedelic drone meets deconstructed sing thing that I associate with the project but instead of the multi-layered sound voids, it’s totally stripped down. There’s clearly no backing tapes just a man, his tools and his creativity let loose on a very lucky audience.
Whats impressive to me is I can hear what sounds like an audience, the shuffle of feet and the snap of a ringpull but I dont hear any yapping. Which is how it should be. This might sound like an odd thing to say about a live album but this is really one to listen to on headphones (unless you happen to have a high quality P.A. system at home) so you can absorb all the details and ambience.
I always thought of Old Million Eye as being such a studio thing but now it’s on the record that this extraordinary sonic alchemy can be caught in the wild and on the strength of this album, I’m putting that on my bucket list.
1983 Italian sci-fi action film. 100% dumb. 100% fun
So, two Florida soldiers of fortune are sailing to a Carribean island to go party after their latest mission but they pass an oil rig that is pulling up a Russian nuclear sub and also found an ancient stone tablet which meant that someone summoned some archeologist from Machu Pichu but suddenly Atlantis pops up, causing a Tidal wave to knock down the oil rig. The mercenaries save the archeologist, and some professors then arrive on land to find Atlantean new romantic biker gangs have arrived and gone door to door slaughtering everyone. It’s also got a pretty damn good Italo-disco soundtrack.
Directed by Ruggero Deodato, the man who gave us Cannibal Holocaust, the violence levels are high and the logic inversely low. It’s a caffinated blend of Mad Max, Rambo, Indiana Jones and 1979’s The Visitor. For all its minefield of plot holes and nonsense, you’d have to have a stick up your butt the size of a highland caber to not enjoy this. The fun factor is off the charts. Certified trash but knows it and knows how to have a good time.