Monday, December 31, 2007

The Goslings - Full Hunter's Moon 3'' CDr (2005, Some Dark Holler)

This is part of the Folklore of the Moon Series. The Goslings bring the heavy drone for October! Menacing beauty.
track listing: 1• Roman Candle 2• White Kitten 3• No More Ribbon, No More Kite
Description from Some Dark Holler.


Dialing In - Ketalysergicmetha Mother CDr (2005, Celebrate Psi Phenomenon)

Dialing In is like a decades old recording of an All Night Flight on the organ from Terry Riley, falling apart in your fingertips like one of Basinski's "Disintegration Loops." Delicate piano and keyboard dirges are filtered through layers of re-recording, leaving a fully saturated spectrum and a glowing, warbly tone. Vocal coos and cries are pulled out of the air from distant numbers stations and processed through the same lo-fi low-pass filters, resulting in everything from a girgling baby in the title track, to something like Chinese opera singers in the album closer "Watch Out for Stalkers." While these thick, overprocessed incantations might lead to one to imagine the Skaters euphoric primitivism, there is nothing brutal or scary here. Dialing In creates a soft and warm space, filling the room with tone so dense, it feels like sounds filtered through the womb. The songs hiding beneath the blissful, comforting cloud of noise take cues from many influences. The simple melodies of songs like "Someone Else's Talking Pictures" and "Building It Down" can bring to mind slow pop songs like Low and Slowdive. Other songs bring in Asian influences, like the stellar "Imperfect Fifths," sounding like an Arab seance as heard from the heavens, bringing to mind Sun City Girls' Torch of the Mystics. All the songs take a heavy cue from minimalism. Some of the best songs on the album have the least going on. "Babel" opens the album with a three chord organ progression that repeats and repeats, but the great tone to the organ and the building noise around it - both from the recording technique and a vocal countermelody - create a wonderful sound to bask in. This wonderful sound that Dialing In creates through her recording technique is the key element to the album, and it is just so gorgeous and soothing. Review from Fake Jazz.


Monday, November 12, 2007

I got a live recording of the Patrick Best/Glenn Jones/Jack Rose show I saw coming soon.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Z'EV/Genesis P-Orridge - Direction of Travel CD (2002, Cold Spring)

Some real effort has gone into the production of this CD. Apart from the diamond symbolism on the cover - which has been neatly juxtaposed with painter Charles Acethorpe's excellent flora imagery - this 1990 recording includes Z'ev's fourteen-page discussion of the psychiatric processes used to induce altered states of neurological consciousness. Following on from the ground-breaking work carried out by A.M. Ludwig during the 1960's, Z'ev elaborates upon the five different manifestations of the trance state and the categorical denominations within each. Amongst other things, these include the use of stress and deprivation, repetition and hypnosis, boredom and solitary confinement. Z'ev's thoughts on this subject are compelling, taking us on a magickal mystery tour through the complete range of transformative potentialities. Surprisingly, perhaps, many of these factors were explored long ago by the Ancient Greeks. The trance state was depicted by Plato as a form of madness which was highly desirable. This he broke down into four distinct forms: Mantis, Katharsis, Katokoche and Eros. Socrates, meanwhile, remarked that 'so much more glorious, by the testimony of the ancients, is madness than sober sense, the inspiration of Heaven than the creation of men.' The Japanese alternatives of Muchu, Konsui-Jotai, Saimin-Jotai and Mugen no Kyo are also touched upon. In fact the sheer breadth of Z'ev's exegesis is ground from the dust of both science and tradition, weaving together such periods, personages and philosophies as Vedic metaphysics, Timothy Leary, Hopic India, Zosimos, Mayan legend and Buddhism. Genesis, meanwhile, adds his own thoughts on these complicated brain processes and gives a courteous nod to Z'ev for introducing him to such concepts in the first place. But what ov thee Great Work itself? Each of the ten tracks is named after a specific direction, hence the name of the overall project in which these experiments are set. However, to suggest that this is a standard musical affair is way off the mark. 'East I' is a tormented sprinkle of chiming hand cymbals which will introduce your ears to the wonderful world of tinnitus and leave them ringing for several hours. 'East II', meanwhile, offers up a deconstructed swirl of anarchic noise-flux to the gods of aural detachment. The ringing is evident yet again, but is now accompanied by a huge whining spring-effect. 'East III' is an exercise in tribalism. A hollow, rhythmagick odyssey of stick upon wood and the approaching splutter of an industrial generator pitted with discordant sound. 'Southeast' takes us off into yet another direction. Through the psychedelic hallways we go and out across the rolling drumbeats, hand in hand with our own mentally-unbalanced selves. Until, that is, we arrive at 'South I', where the constantly-whirling treatise of mind-feed sounds like a ritualistic dream-sequence at the court of the Ming Dynasty. 'South II' is a yet further helping of African-style drumming, conjuring up images of Johnny Weismuller wrestling frantically with a brain surgeon in crocodile shoes as a mesmeric shaker rustles its way into the fibres and sinews of the old grey matter. This is a very hypnotic track indeed. Another gyratory switch on the compass and we are heading in slow-motion towards 'North I'. This is a lazy shuffle of colliding objects, each of them stopping and starting with no particular direction in mind. Like a giant dragging his furniture across a wooden floor. 'North II' has a certain watery quality. Large, breath-heavy raps against the doors of the soul. This rather eerie trend continues on into 'North III', although one can almost detect the dalek-like buzz of a laser. Lobotomy, anyone? Finally, we hang on to our scalps and head out 'West' for some trepanation, as the echoes and soundwaves of this thirteen-minute showdown drill small holes in mankind's rigid perception of sound. Yes, indeedy. Clothed in leopard skins and Egyptian hieraglyphs, this is pure originality at its finest. Another unique excercise in human experimentation and a stepping stone for the occultic adventurer. And, of course, yet one more notch on the Cold Spring bedpost. Review from Synthesis.


Saturday, September 8, 2007

Z'EV - Elemental Music LP (1982, Subterranean Records)

Elemental Music, recorded live in San Francisco in early 1981, finds bald percussionist Z'ev (Stefan Weisser) creating an amorphous and utterly atonal wall of pulsating sound on instruments that are neither identified nor aurally identifiable. Although different from what one usually thinks of in terms of ambient music — this shit gets loud! — as a soundscape for the post-industrial wasteland, it's fine in a numbing sort of way. (Z'ev's pioneering noise work prefigures similar experimental efforts by such metallic heavy hitters as Einstrzende Neubauten and Test Dept.) Review from Trouser Press.


Saturday, September 1, 2007

Double Leopards - Gematria 2xTape (2005, Heavy Tapes)

"The Gematria cassette box on Heavy Tapes has proved a wonderful sonic Rosetta Stone for decoding the Leopards’ cosmos. Since listening to those solo transmissions, I can’t help but zone in on the individual strands each member adds to the group sound." From Digitalis.


Friday, August 24, 2007

Bodyvehicle - Being Being 2xTape (2007, Black Horizons)

This upload was generously donated to Astraal Tempel RhytHymns by the label and artist. Please visit their website here and support underground music!

65 minutes spread out over 4 sides. Presented as a retrospective, including some previously released select tracks, and some not heard before. The style can vary from track to track, some dominated by small sounds and buzzing loops, to epic and beautiful drone pieces, and electro-acoustic improv fused with noise. Instruments that are audible include saxophone, guitar, and drum machine. Bodyvehicle manages to keep the avant garde classics in mind while still looking forward in a way that few acts can. Presented in a black vinyl album, with color art on blue/gold shimmer vellum cover and color on transparent labels. Tracks listing is printed on blue shimmer paper, which is glued to the inside. Edition of 50 hand stamp #'ed copies on hi-bias chrome tapes. Click here to see more detailed images of the packaging. Description from the label.


Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Circle - General LP (2005, Kevyt Nostalgia)

The first track(s) is a weird one, starting off with a bit of noodly electric piano, over a thick staticky haze of backgroud whir, segueing quickly into a strange lite prog, like Gentle Giant or Gong maybe, but unlike those bands, Circle's lite prog is buried in effects, the vocals are freaked out and splinter into mad echos, the drums careen wildly into the ether, the whole thing a swirling prog rock acid-drenched freakout. Eventually things settle into that instantly recognizable Circle groove, a throbbing hypnotic krautrocky workout. Then Circle pulls a Skynrd on us by fading out a track on side one and then fading back into it on side two. So awesome. Haven't really noticed anyone pulling that one off in ages.

Most of side two is taken up by a much heavier Circle, with a thick fuzzy serpentine bass line underpinning simple repeated guitar riffs, the drums pounding out a basic, impossible to resist rhythm, everything building in intensity, eventually melting down into a full on low-end freakout, a wall of distortion and splattered drums, super effected wailing vocals all burning bright before drifting back to black. Woah. Review from Aquarius.


Friday, August 17, 2007

Time of Rivers Festival

saturday sept. 8th & sunday sept. 9th 2007
portland, maine

Rivers Of and Time-Lag Records are proud to present the Time of Rivers festival, a two-day gathering of some of today’s most talented and intriguing solo instrumentalists. Most of the artists gracing this fest focus on the guitar, respecting the tradition of the steel string while pushing boundaries and exploring possibilities not hitherto heard. While each artist sharing the stage varies stylistically from each other, expect acoustic guitar mastery from almost each and every one (though several acts do, in fact, feature vocalists), with the requisite curveballs thrown in for fortitude. The significance of such a large gathering of top-tier contemporary players should not be lost on anyone paying attention to the modern musical landscape. Time of Rivers is an historic opportunity to witness firsthand this immense pool of talent... in concentrated form. Time of Rivers will be taking place on Saturday, September 8 and Sunday, September 9 of 2007 in Portland, Maine, at both The Soundpost and One Longfellow. Both venues are located in downtown Portland, mere blocks apart, and feature good bars, restaurants, and used record stores nearby -- including Enterprise Records and the new Time-Lag store. The Soundpost allows BYOB, while One Longfellow hosts a cash bar.

A weekend pass to all shows is $20, with separate tickets available for $5 for the afternoon set and $10 for each of the two evening sets. Tickets are currently available by emailing Time-Lag Records at or by visiting or You can also read more about the festival by visiting Time-Lag Records Additional funding for the Time of Rivers festival was graciously provided by Buckdancer’s Choice Music Co. and Enterprise Records.

ARTISTS PERFORMING: Jack Rose Glenn Jones Micah Blue Smaldone R. Keenan Lawler Fire On Fire (Threads, Cerberus Shoal, Big Blood) Sean Smith Adam Snider Craig Ventresco (“Crumb” Soundtrack) Matt Valentine Christina Carter Ilyas Ahmed Arborea Mike Tamburo Joshua Burkett Marc Orleans (Sunburned Hand of the Man, D. Charles Speer) Eric Carbonara (Soft People) Steve Gunn (GHQ, Magik Markers, Moongang) zaimph (marcia bassett of ghq/double leopards/un/etc) Cursillistas Nonloc (Bright)

For additional information about current lineup, scheduling, or lodging/camping options in the area visit or email Edward Gibbs at

Repost: Zaimph - Moon's Pool CDr (2005, Heavy Blossom)

Four-track solo cdr album from Marcia Bassett of Double Leopards, Hototogisu, GHQ, Zaika and probably a bunch of other things by now on her own Heavy Blossom label. Bought from a Hototogisu show in 2005, and the vibe is floating but urgent, more similar to Hototogisu than any of the others mentioned above. Out-of-print and very rare - i've not seen this anywhere for a long time. Comes in a flat wraparound sleeve of fried original artwork with textured insert. Description from


Attention Bassett geeks: GHQ has a higly limited tape available from Sloow Tapes which is probably nearly sold out. Pick it up if you can.

Sunday, August 5, 2007

Ill be gone for a week of vacation everyone. Enjoy the archives and water my plants.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Surface Of Eceon - Tussyan Ruins CD (2003, Three Lobed)

This EP Is Part Of The Eight-Volume Subscription-Only Purposeful Availment Series. Description from Discogs.

Surface of Eceon (or Surface of Eceyon), is a supergroup of sorts whose music has been described as ambient, space rock. This unit, which has a penchant for the phantasmagoric, includes members of from Landing and Yume Bitsu, two notable psychedelic rock groups. Description from Wikipedia.


Friday, July 27, 2007

Heavy Winged - Hunting the Moon CDr (2006, Ruralfaune)

What we have here is yet another platter of sonic mayhem issued from the increasingly mighty Ruralfaune camp. This time around, it’s a disc of distraught weed whacking and hardcore-tribal skin desecration from Brooklyn boys Heavy Winged. In three tracks over 45 minutes, this trio of sensitive thugs unleash a massive wall of cathartic heaviness that straddles the line between 700 punches to the ribs and the raw beauty of a black eye. Three dudes (and I say ‘dude’ with utmost respect to the men of Heavy Winged) with only guitar, bass and drums succeed in wrangling a mother load of sonic intensity through sheer improvisation and mastery of instruments that must melt in their hands.

Opening salvo “Concrete Glass” is the superstar here; a 20-minute blowout of ghostly yet intense guitar/bass improvisatory riff and drone with a maddening drum assault courtesy of jackhammer Jed. The fact that all of these songs were improvised live to 4-track leaves me dumbfounded as to how these guys can keep such a high level of intensity going for such a long time. “Concrete Glass” begins and ends with the same brutal force: no slow build-up and no wimpy ending. It’s definitely not for the faint of heart. “Death Instinct” features a bit of a groove, and a taped conversation that invokes the feeling of certain dread. The final track, “Last Forever” is an uplifting romp that is probably the most straightforward thing these guys have ever released. The proverbial weight is lifted from our shoulders as the boys provide us some breathing room.

Unfortunately, I heard through the grapevine that Heavy Winged is no longer, as drummer Jed has moved across the country to Portland, Oregon. It’s a damn shame, but hopefully there’s a ton of archival material waiting to be released. There’s also a heap of other releases available on an assortment of micro-labels worldwide to keep us fixed. That being said, I guess we’ll have to wait a decade or two for a Heavy Winged reunion tour. 9/10 Review from Digitalis.


Double Leopards - Out of One, Through One and To One LP (2005, Eclipse)

To find a more apt title for this record would be all but impossible, as this is the most unified DL album to date. No one needs to be told that NY’s Double Leopards have mastered the drone, but here they redefine and recontextualize it, giving it new life and a single-mindedness of purpose that can be soothing, terrifying and exhilarating all at once.

This offering, one of several group projects this year, further hones established skills to absolutely mesmerizing effect. It is fair to say that the DL trademark drone is often simultaneously rhythmic and arrhythmic. Like late Trane, it lives comfortably in both worlds, rendering the group name appropriate for the overall sound. Halve Maen, the group’s masterpiece, clattered, buzzed, melted and throbbed with jungle and industry, the pairing never seeming incongruous and the drone always present just behind any foregrounded texture. Now, all that’s left is drone – all-encompassing drone – from the lowest rumble to a sound so high it can be felt with the eyes and face, penetrating my listening space with three-dimensional clarity.

Each of the two side-long nameless tracks on this LP are one huge slab of soft but powerful trance-induction. Like Theater of Eternal Music of the early 1960s, the drone is the message, but where La Monte Young, John Cale and company sometimes employed awkward microtonal changes to create an ephemeral sense of motion, DL has refined the effect. Like any good orchestral playing, the ensemble sound is unbelievably focused and each minute transition is well-executed. Even DL side projects, such as Hototogisu or the peripherally related Sunroof never sounded like this. Hototogisu’s volume and brute force sets them apart, and Sunroof often has rhythm at its heart. Somehow, it seems that this is the ideal Double Leopards piece, the sound they’ve been looking for from the beginning. What next? Review from Dusted Magazine.


Birchville Cat Motel - Cranes Are Sleeping LP (2000, Ecstatic Peace!)

Birchville Cat Motel/Black Boned Angel is the music of New Zealander Campbell Kneale. An ever-changing, gently unravelling, ball of pure sound, sometimes beautiful enough to make you weep, sometimes ferocious enough to rip the gravel off your driveway. Moved among other things by '60s minimalism, musicologial field recordings, religious music, doom metal, and Appalachian music, and crafting his ecstatic blur-scapes from delicately caressed pieces of electronic junk, Birchville Cat Motel has gained international recognition as one the bright shining lights of what music journos have dubbed 'drone-music'. Verging on the ultra-prolific, a large number of Birchville Cat Motel albums have been made available to the public through some of underground musics snappiest dressed labels as well as through the international cassette/cdr underground.

"I just want to make beautiful things."
Campbell Kneale

Description from 20BuckSpin.


Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Pelt - Six of Cups CDr (200?, no label)

It is said that "The Six of Cups repersents an orgasmic rush of feelings, a wave of ecstasy." Surely Pelt was experiencing this sort of feeling upon their sixth anniversary as a trio, and decided to mark this occasion with, among other things, this compilation (also sometimes known as "Odds And Sods") featuring one previously-unheard track from each of the past six years. It was a limited eidition of 30, so if you weren't at one of the anniversary shows, you missed out, sorry... Description from Klang.


*In somewhat related news Jack Rose will be touring the east coast and midwest. Check out the dates here.*

Jackie-O Motherfucker - Change CD (2002, Textile)

Jackie O Motherfucker make the kind of emotionally developed experimental music half of the so called "post-rock" crowd can only dream about. Creating layers of sound often dominated by Jef Brown's saxophone, at times Change sounds like a free-form jazz version of Godspeed You Black Emperor. But there is much more here. While Brown places crescendos of fluttering saxophones above scratchy violins and electronic samples on tracks such as "777", cofounder Tom Greenwood is one minute teasing gentle harmonics from his guitar above country twanged vocals ("Everyday") and the next throwing out Velvet Underground-esque guitar hooks above reversed beats ("Sun Ray Harvester"). And if that isn't enough of a pointer, check out the beat poetry sample on "7" or just listen to the drunken bluesy slurs on "Bus Stop". Change is an album steeped in a multitude of Americana influences. As a result Jackie O manage to side step the formulaic nature of much post-rock quite nicely. Let's hope others take note. Reviw from


Friday, July 20, 2007

blog roll call

Who watches this ghastly thing? Post a comment please. Thanks and enjoy the show.

Double Leopards - A Pebble in Thousands of Unmapped Revolutions LP (2001, Eclipse)

Though tethered to some mundane Northeastern burg, Double Leopards make utterly placeless music. Immense, ungovernable music that sidesteps description as surely as it scoffs at chronology and geography. I've decided to attempt to do justice to Double Leopards' second LP, A Pebble in Thousands of Unmapped Revolutions, well aware that anything I write here can and will fall laughably short of the task. I suddenly feel like David approaching Goliath armed with a tattered thong and a cotton ball.

Double Leopards were before Chris, Marcia, and Jon; Double Leopards will no doubt continue to be long after Chris, Marcia, and Jon. Not to discount the role these individuals have played in the ascendance of Double Leopards, mind you. Some fortuitous convergence had to rouse Double Leopards into its current state of being, and Chris, Marcia, and Jon drew this particular card. 30 years ago, eight Japanese souls were called together by the same fateful purpose. Double Leopards adopted the name Taj-Mahal Travelers then. But Double Leopards are not Taj-Mahal Travelers any more than Taj-Mahal Travelers were Double Leopards. What both are is the avatar of a unique consciousness capable of spanning universes and locating some furtive but specific tear in the time/space framework. Where so many other collective minds batter clumsily against the wall, forever fumbling for that same secret defect, Double Leopards pinpoint the puncture, plug in, and light up instantaneously with the song of electric communion. Yes, Double Leopards reach out and touch the mystery just beyond the Veil the way you or I would call an out-of-state acquaintance over the wires. And the tape is always rolling.

Double Leopards' intimate connection makes each recorded transmission (and there have only been a few) seem like a love letter. Not "roses are red" grade-school scribblings but mystic missives of Song of Solomon magnitude. Even transcribed into the Pythagorean poetry of sound, and further reduced to vinyl grooves representing the polymorphous play of bass, voice, and vibration, the words whisper of metaphysical couplings - flesh and energy, essence and electricity - too profound for earthly ken. Knowing that we're unlikely ever to experience such cosmic intercourse firsthand, Double Leopards deign to share the sensation. Fortunately for us, Double Leopards recordings retain unmistakable traces of contact with untold Power. This becomes evident in the way that what sounds at first like midrange clatter somehow stokes the senses, spreading warmth and well-being through networks of nerves heretofore dormant. It's apparent when conventionally pretty drones seem to pulsate with a character that transcends conventional prettiness; when even silences sound incandescent and so melodious as to melt and shimmer; when your head and heart seem to fill with light and swell in response to certain sustained wavelengths.

Sadly, it's most apparent when the stylus lifts at the end of each side, rudely pulling the plug and dispelling the divine. Review from Fake Jazz.


Total - Beyond the Rim LP (1993, Majora)

Matthew Bower of UK power-drone outfit, Skullflower, who, surprisingly, are "back" with a new album on Tumult. If you ever lay your eyes upon copies of the band's Ruins, Xaman and Last Shot At Heaven CDs, then hold on tight, baby: them be the goods. I was fuggin' obsessed with Skullflower ca. '93, so this was a pretty predictable purchase on my behalf. I hadn't listened to this in years until the other night, though halfway through Side 1 and my mind was already made up: this is good, real good. Armed with a roomful of exotic instruments (gongs, bells, you name it), a piano, guitar and a distortion box, Bower has built a massive wall of sound, aided by his ability to stick an honest-to-God tune in amongst all the noise. A missing link between the caustic shriek of Masami Akita and late '70s Eno, this is a mixed bag that still sounds mighty good. Score it on the board for Majora! Review from Lexicon Devil.


Saturday, July 14, 2007

Double Leopards - Urban Concussion Pic Disk 12" (2004, QBICO)

The Wire-July 2004 issue 245: "Though their previous releases were impressively dense, last year's Halve Maen felt like Double Leopards' defining moment, a massive hole that swallowed every pebble of this Brooklyn quartet's gravelly drone. Urban Concussion, a beautifully titled pic disk on QBICO label, at fisrt seems smaller in scope. It's limited ed., 32 min. in length, and coated with a glowing Graham Lambkin artwork that's so eye-freezing it's tempting to hang the record on the wall without ever placing it under the needle. But once the stylus hits, Urban Concussion is as cavernous and gravitational as its predecessor. Side one begins with a warped hum and some intermittent claking, resembling Morse code from a distant star. Low spoken vocals echo in the background, combining with wavering feedback and busy ambience to create the feel of a hallucinatory train station. Live, DL' power rises with amplification and room size, but here they prove equally adept at limiting its dimensions, gaining speed so gradually it's like watching technicolor grass grow. 15 min. in , a hollow roar slides into a beam of treble, then decays into gitty rumble akin to a fuzzy needle stuck happily on a groove. Side two is more open and roomy, with distinct noises more prevalent than heavy drones. Ping-ponged bleeps, propellered whirrs and shards of abrasion all push and shove. While the range of sounds hardly varies throught the track's 14 min., the permutations are fascinatingly unpatterned, like a simple mathematical exercise that accidentally creates infinity inside a box. But DL can never stray too far from drone, and Urban Concussion ends by immersing the listener in a planet sized seashell that this stellar group seems to have patented." Marc Masters. Description from QBICO.


Sunroof! - USSA CDr (2003, VHF)

Limited cd-r document to commemorate Sunroof!'s recent first foray to American soil! More of everything you already love about Matthew Bower's Sunroof! Snatches of rock and roll are crushed and smeared into a swirling sonic cloud of scattershot percussion and thick distorted throb, guitars are scraped and scratched eliciting random melodies over a sweetly gauzy melodious backdrop, glitchy electronic percussion underpins huge rolling swells of throbbing fuzz, and guitars squirm and slither all over the place amking this a pretty noisy record for Sunroof!, with definite nods to Bower's other heavier projects Skullflower and Total. Description from Aquarius Records.


Sun City Girls - The Multiple Hallucinations of an Assassin Cassette (1987, Cloaven Cassettes)

Outtakes from the Torch of the Mystics sessions, circa 1987–88. Exotica with a capital X using two electric guitars and drums. Description from the Sun City Girls homepage.


Daniel Higgs - Solo Harmonium (recorded August 8, 2005 live on BSR 88.1FM)

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Mike Tamburo - Dance Enis Dance CDr (2007, Barl Fire)

Mike Tamburo returns with an epic 32 minute suite of Basho-esque fingerpicking and psychedelic drones, that are exhilarating yet meditative and clearly an expression of deep catharsis. The album is packaged in full colour sleeves featuring cover art by Pete Spynda, housed in vinyl slip cases, contains an insert and is limited to 100 copies. Go to Barl Fire to see where the cd is still available.

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

VHK (Galloping Coroners) - Hammering On The Gates Of Nothingness & Giant Space! Cd's (1992 Alter, 1994 Studio Kft)

Galloping Coroners, or Vágtázó Halottkémek (VKH), emerged in 1975, finding instinctively its path to play instinctive primeval music eliberating the elementary powers of nature creating ourselves and revolting to its high completion in a free spontaneity and overwhelming energy. The VHK discovered a new method of playing music, which is not a simple improvisation but a completely free creation of music born on stage, liberating the deepest musical creative power, as well as playing more or less pre-written materials. This music is called as shamanistic/psychedelic hardcore but is in reality an unrestricted outburst of life energy. This is not only a music, but an attitude to grasp the essence of life with our deepest nature and grow it by its own law. The group says it is a magical natural music, a cosmic vision about the origin of presence. It develops in a sovereign way as a self-revelation with its elementary power.

The VHK is a distinguished cultic band in Hungary as well as in Germany. The first eight concerts were interrupted by the authorities in an afraid from the consequences. The band was banished for eleven years, nevertheless even at that time it continuously found spontaneous occasions to act by chance pushed by the audience of an other group, or simply playing by pseudonyms, as guest musicians of friend bands and without declaring themselves as a band at their the concert.

Meantime they won the festival of the experimental film studio in 1981. The video of this event was presented many times in the West German TV. Gábor Bódy, the internationally famous and youngly died film-director made his film "Dog's Night Song" with them, including the lead howler Attila Grandpierre in one of the featuring roles. VHK plays from 1984 regularly in the West. In 1986, when Amsterdam was the "cultural capital of Europe", the Dutch Queen, Beatrix personally intervened at the Hungarian authorities in order to allow the guest performance of the band. A similar event happened in 1987 when Fred Sinowatz, the Austrian chancellor had to interact with the Hungarian Ministry of Culture. They played in the "Mythen, Monstren and Mutationen" festival in Berlin, Tempodrom, 1988, together with La Fura dels Baus, where VHK was the best surprise (Zitty Berlin, 1988). Einstürzende Neubauten, Henry Rollins, Jello Biafra and Iggy Pop regarded VHK as one of the most important bands. VHK hosted Rollins Band in Hungary where they were shocked on the overwhelming effect of VHK on the audience. Rollins Band invited VHK for a tour in England which occured in 1989. In 1992, the CD "Hammering on the Gates of Nothingness" reached the 2nd position on the Top-100 list of the year of a Belgian Radio. Dietmar Lupfer, the first manager of the band, and later on the famous American cult label Alternative Tentacles released "Teach Death a Lesson" (1988), "Jump Out the World-Instinct"(1990), "Hammering on the Gates of Nothingness" (1992). The London chief of Alternative Tentacles Bill Gilliam described the music of VHK as "primal God-feeling".

Many American managers suggested VHK to play in USA, telling that "every American band wants to play such a music what you, do but they cannot." The VHK released the live-album "Giant Space!"(1994). Dietmar took the band to the New Music Seminar in 1990, New York. The New York Times wrote "the Coroner's music is basic and elemental and filled with obsessive, galvanizing passion." Melody Maker wrote on their show at the Pop Komm!, the large international festival of Germany, where they get the greatest power on the audience. VHK played in the Steirischer Herbst '95, completed with the fellows of Les Tambours du Bronx, 27 people on the same stage. VHK attracted 40000 people in 1996 in the Diáksziget (Student's Island) festival, one of the biggest festivals of Europe, and reached an extraordinary effect on the crowd. Iggy Pop declared them as the most interesting band today (1996). Our recent CD's

"The Reconquering of the Eden - 1st attack, and 2nd attack" (1997, 1998) is of a band radically improved, with a new guitarist and bassist, and invited musicians playing on contrabass, violin, flute, hurdy-gurdy and cymbal. The VKH used basically two sounds: one with the greatest energy for the electric songs and one which they developed themselves which is an unusually natural and vital dreamspace for the acoustic songs. We second part of the album is recorded in a large hall to record in a live atmosphere in May, 1998. The "Reconquering Eden - 2nd attack" was released on August 5, 1998. Both of these CDs reached the Top-40 of the Hungarian best-selling records and stayed there for 3 months. People are usually very much intensified and surprised when seeing VKH alive on stage nowadays, still. Description from Neurot.

Get Both

Friday, June 29, 2007

Michael Flower - Returning To Knowing Nothing LP (2007, QBICO)

"Debut solo album by founding Vibracathedral Orchestra guitarist and Chris Corsano duo partner Mick Flower, with cover art by Rob Thomas of Sunburned Hand Of The Man. Featuring material recorded between 2003 and 2005, Returning To Knowing Nothing seems to draw on more primeval drone strategies than even Vibracathedral with guitar/strings/vocals blending in a series of tracks that combine Eurasian sounding horsehair hee-haw with a flash of prole drone more commonly linked to Henry Flynt, Magical Power Mako and early John Cale and the kind of tone gargling associated with members of Pandit Pran Nath’s immediate circle. A deeply personal tho still historically reverent series of drone scores and one of the best recordings to come out of the whole Vibracathedral implosion. Highly recommended." Description from Volcanic Tongue.


(link fixed)

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Rovo - Pico! CD (1998, Sony Japan)

I couldnt find an english review so this extremely bad Japanese translation will do:

1998 release. First of the vision of ROVO. 4 tune entering maxi single. Already, it can spread the sound like the outer space where even the essence of ROVO you can say bodily sensation. As for ROVO it understands well that already it is not anything person other than ROVO from first.

It spreads to everywhere, cotton 々 keeps being connected to everywhere, furthermore it transfigures, in order to twinkle, the shining and the shade it makes, becoming colored keeps. In order the person whom you hear to be fixed and being to touch the lump you are moved. So while having done, in some [ma] your own rhythm the language which is different completely from the mouth differing from always, appearing, you rival it becomes. But everything is hallucination, your own consciousness which remembers hallucination you are new gradually it keeps being buried. And steadily even the ground which should stand keeping sinking, it drags the air and the ground and is packed and it falls to the ultimate hallucination which is unified.

First we want experiencing. ROVO!! From Amazon Japan.


Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Tirath Singh Nirmala - Tattv-guna-mala Vol. I & II CDr's (2005?/06?, self-released)

(no cover art available, can anyone help?)

Not too long ago, John Clyde-Evans made a huge splash with his phenomenal solo LP on England's Fisheye imprint. He also performed as an collaborator with the seminal UK group, Hood. After taking a seven year hiatus and committing to the path of Sikhism, he returned as Tirath Singh Nirmala. His continually unfolding backstory is interesting enough, but it's his music where the real magic and mystery stretch their silver wings.

Nirmala returned to making music after his close friend and collaborator, Vibracathedral Orchestra's Neil Campbell, gave him some free software and set him on his way. Nirmala responded with nearly a dozen self-released, highly limited CDRs. The releases were filled to the brim with Eastern-influenced, transcendental drones and uplifting spiritual sound explorations. His manipulation of sine waves and use of obscure Asian instruments creates a wholly original and unique sound. As on his solo LP as John Clyde-Evans, Nirmala's ability to concoct sprawling, majestic drones using such simple terms is unmatched. From Digitalis Industries.


FYI, John Clyde-Evans has a new, extremely limited tape available from
Sloow Tapes as I type these words. Check it out.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Anahita - Arcana en Cantos CDr (2006)

The two women behind Anahita should be familiar to those reading this. Tara Burke and Helena Espvall-Santoleri work seamlessly together here, both of their voices mixing and swelling in a loose field populated by cello, accordion, guitar (both forward and gleefully reversed), and other accents of warm noise. This kind of an album is just pure comfort for me. It conjures up a special mood that I simply want to stay in for as long as possible. It feels like the freshness of spring, or the meditative space of plants. At times, the whole thing seems to be breathing, which is a wonderful treat. The lo-fidelity sound of the album effectively makes "Arcana en Cantos" seem even more like a dug up artifact that we are fortunate to be hearing.

This disc is divided up into three tracks of slow-motion psych-dirge that somehow reminds me of a more raw Dead Can Dance. The central piece is the massively long second track, which is moved along by some lovely clean electric guitar playing and not much else. The minimalism and slow organic growth of this track left the biggest impact on me, as I hardly noticed the 35 minutes that apparently passed as it played.

This might not be the most mindblowing thing that either of these artists has done, and I know it won't surprise any Fursaxa fans. Nevertheless, I don't want to stop listening to this disc. Its strangely comforting and introspective atmosphere leaves me feeling refreshed over and over again. 9/10 Review from Digitalis Industries.


Friday, June 15, 2007

"How to Overthrow the System: brew your own beer; kick in your Tee Vee; build your own cabin and piss off the front porch whenever you bloody well feel like it." -
Edward Abbey

Uchu - Uchu (1998) & Buddha (1999) CD-r's

"One group I like on the CD-R label but that doesn’t seem to have been reissued or made more widely available in any form is Uchu. They’re described as a Virtual trip ambient unit consisting of Kawabata…Hiroshi Higashi, and Ayano. All the music is played on voice and electric guitar. Because the concept of the group is to create a kind of “human techno” from improvised cut-up lyrics (single words, actually) and repeating guitar patterns, we use no samplers, sequencers, or synthesizers whatsoever. The “human techno” bit is perhaps misleading, on their two CD-Rs Uchu and Buddha the general scheme is for flowing, open guitar patterns to slowly build on themselves while the voices of the three members, intoning concepts like “love”, “soul”, “buddha”, “space” echo in and out. All very cosmic, with the best of the music sounding like classic Popul Vuh. That’ll tell you whether you’d like them or not. Perhaps someone will see fit to reissue these releases at some stage." Description from

Get Both

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Samara Lubelski Quartet - Samara Lubelski Quartet Cassette (2006)

Meditative violin drones dissolving time into wide open space of home recorded cosmic ambience. A universal consciousness of hypnotizing star gazing sounds that melts right into the centre of the mind’s eye. From Slooow Tapes


Sunday, June 10, 2007

Daniel Higgs - Plays The Mirror Of The Apocalypse And Other Songs Cassette (2006)

Daniel Higgs, of Lungfish and the Pupils, is one of the very few contemporary artists who we would absolutely consider a sort of modern day shaman. A musical alchemist, an artistic cypher, an abstract philosopher, a strangely charismatic, yet disarmingly humble master of any artistic endeavor he puts his mind to. A legendary (but now retired) tattoo artist, an incredible painter, whose paintings are at once hallucinatory and gorgeous (one painting adorns the cover of Leviathan's Tentacles Of Whorror record) and of course an incredible musician, whose sonic experiments range from the mesmeric riffrock of his band Lungfish, to an entire record of solo Jew's harp. But in addition to being an incredible lyricist, an amazing vocalist, and a master of the Jew's harp, Higgs is also a seriously mean guitar player, with a style and sound as familiar as it is totally alien. A gorgeous buzzing steel string drift through the cosmos. Lengthy droning ragas, that drift hypnotically from deconstructed Appalachia to John Cale like slow-shifting skree (joined on those tracks by violin), to moody melancholy crawls, to thick serpentine swirls of snake charmer melody and reverberating steel string shimmer. Raw and lo-fi for sure, but so darkly emotional, and dreamily hypnotic. We've been listening to this non stop since we got it and it continues to unfold more and more on each listen, we're thinking seriously about grabbing a boombox, taking a ton of peyote, blasting this tape and laying in the thick grass, sprawled naked on a hilltop in the middle of nowhere, beneath a sparkling moonlit sky. Review from Aquarius.


Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Suishou No Fune - I Throw A Stone Into The Endless Depths Cassette (2007)

Damaged Japanese psychedelic acid guitar freak-outs bringing early Fushitsusha down with laid-back spacious dreamy Miminokoto and LSD March melodies, all descending into a lonesome blues abyss. Heavy silkscreened fold-out cover and lyric sheets, total black edition of 150 copies. Review from Second Layer Records.


Saturday, June 2, 2007

Chie Mukai - Solo Improvisations (2000)

Three tracks recorded at Kid Ailack Art Hall in Tokyo in the late 90s. Just over 40 minutes of solo improvisations featuring the beautiful deep drone of the er-hu (a traditional bowed Chinese instrument) augmented by voice, kengali, rings and cymbals. Mukai is an important (and underdocumented) figure in the Japanese underground whose work goes back to her time as a student under Takahisa Kosugi in the late 70s which resulted in her participation in the legendary "East Bionic Symphonia" album. Since then she has continued to work with her own Ché-SHIZU outfit and appear on recordings with artists such as Maher Shalal Hash Baz, Rinji Fukuoka (Overhang Party), Seiichi Yamamoto (Boredoms) and Masayoshi Urabe. Description from Fusetronsound.