Ostrich style

 

 

Good evening!

This week's picks speak for themselves, and if they don't, the paragraphs of Nespresso-fuelled (yeah it's THE WAY I ARE) dross below should help. As such, gonna use the preamble to flag up - in a bit more detail - our upcoming LOW COMPANY XMAS PARTY.

Yessss on December 8th, 2018 we'll be celebrating the birth of christ with special guests NKISI (NON Worldwide/Arcola/UIQ/Doomcore++) and MARK (A Colourful Storm/Unterton++). We're returning to our favourite dark and dank and airless N16 basement, Bar A Bar, scene of our 1st birthday earlier in the year, but this time we’re bringing our own sound and we’ve got a late license so we can go louder n longer and really destroy your weekend! 

We’re very excited to welcome Nkisi. Her forthcoming LP on UIQ is VERY eagerly anticipated round these parts, especially after her ‘Dark Orchestra’ 12” on Arcola earlier this year tore us a new wormhole with its splicing of African rhythms and hardstep/gabba/tekno sonics, prompting us to draw hamfisted but not-given-lightly comparisons with The Mover, Christoph de Babalon and Rufige Cru (yep!). Someone the other day remarked how crucial, and how often lacking, a sense of ALARM is in the dance - well Nkisi (b)rings the alarm, and then some, making music that is fearless and radgy as fuck but somehow supple and sensuous too and which you feel might actually be inventing the future rather than just sniffing its corpse. 

The elusive Mark has become a bona fide SHOP FAVE off the back of his three 12”s to date, ‘Here Comes A Fucking Startup Campus’ and Integrier Dich Du Yuppie on A Colourful Storm, and more recently ‘The Least Likely Even Will Occur In The Longrun’ on Ostgut’s Unterton: deconstructions of prowling, predator-mode jungle/darkside dnb that actually re-mould and armour-plate the music for NOW, blending its DNA with that of flexing, minimalist warehouse techno, and somehow also finding time to lampoon/rue the flood of global capital and associated fuckery into Berlin. His in-store set for us back in spring impressed us mightily.... EXECUTIONER…. Shoppe crew… Kenny, Jim, Meg, Sanjay ++ … filling in the gaps. Tickets are £10 from our website or £8 for paper tickets available in-store only (these have finally been printed and are ready for ye)

OK til next week>>>>
LC

 


ARV & MILJÖ
SVENSK SOMMAR I STILLA FRID
OMLOTT | LP | £16.99

Labyrinthine synth music that seems to borrow from the depressive electronics of Scandinavian black metal, the dark side of kosmische and progressive rock, disintegration-loop techno, and the kind of impossibly bleak interior landscapes conjured by Nico/Cale on The Marble Index. Arv & Miljö's origins are in noise, but in recent times its releases have traded hard-modernist harsh-outs for more playful and digressive pieces - from corroded parodies of new age to skewed, glue-it-yrself almost-pop and downer psych experiments that betray the Gothenburgian project’s heavy obsession with NZ lathe-cuts / zero-audience 4-track fuckabouts.

This new album appears at first a perfect vision of bucolic bliss - its title translates roughly as “Swedish Summer of Peaceful Tranquility” - but its surface calm of shimmering harmony belies - OF COURSE - roiling currents of existential unease…a loneliness and listlessness ripe to metastasise into psychosis and violence (the first is track titled ‘Stabbed In The Brain’, juz in case you didn't get the memo). Blood-lust aside, Svensk Sommar feels part of a venerable desolate-Swedes-with-keyboards continuum that also includes Ralph Lundsten, Anna Själv Tredje’s enigmatic, untouchable Tussilago Fanfara and those recently unearthed Civilistjavel! recordings, but also connects with the sequestered electronics of Burzum’s 'Rundgang um die transzendentale Säule der Singularität', the demolished folk of Alistair Galbraith and Flies Inside The Sun, the eternal-horizontal-moment of RST and GAS, the hidden-reverse drone-spells of Mirror and Vicki Jackman. By the time you’ve finished listening, those gambolling deer on the cover resemble nothing so much as DEAD MEAT. Gulp… Featuring guest appearances from Korea Undok Group, Charlotte Malmenholt, and Stefan Christiansen. Edition of 300.


BEST AVAILABLE TECHNOLOGY
ENGINETICS AND PLASMALTERATIONS

12TH ISLE | MLP | £15.99  

Showcase of “SONICS PROPER” on Enginetics and Plasmalterations from enduring Portland mad-lad Best Available Technology. It’s a syzygy (JUST LEARNED THAT WORD TODAY) of abstract, duffed-up, drowned-world downtempo - think REQ’s One, or Urban Tribe’s Collapse of Modern Culture, etc - and mystic, mulchy, after-after-after-party dub-tekno, all threaded together with distinctly 21st century drone-logic. Yeah, it’s a really good one this, feels both timeless/rooted and very of the now... definitely my favourite ISLEINNAWHILE. Screenprinted tae fuck and v limited as per.

  

INCAPACITANTS
I, RESIDUUM
URASHIMA | LP | £21.99
 

Christ almighty, a notably calm, somewhat wholesome evening of listening to The Flower Travellin’ Band, slugging herbal tea and debating whether a third Tunnocks Tea Cake is a bit much considering I have been sat on my arse most of today (day off, proper), HAS NOT aptly prepared me to buckle up and take on this putrid, waling DEMON disc - hissing spitting noise has come crashing into this humble abode and now it feels like someone is trying to top up my nonexistent tan with a blow-torch. Ouchya!!

Italian noise titans Urashima continue to burrow, at a rate like no other, further into the molten core of petrified noise cassettes from across the globe, this time, shining a light on a forgotten offering from two of Japan's most prolific all-things-impov’ers - Fumio Kosakai and Toshiba Mikawa. Their associations with Hijkaidan and a personal love of their early outings, Zouroku No Kibyou and King Of Noise is what initially called me to this modern re-do of the duos 1997 release, I, Residuum. Obviously it’s NOTHING remotely like these early documents, Zouroku coming out in 1982 and inhibiting a belting collection of live shouting matches / symphonies between noise modules, broken acoustic instruments and fractured rhythms a like, not to mention the 2min recording of one these cats making themselves sick - you go girl!

So aye, by the time 1997 has come around and these two are operating as INCAPACITANTS -  their primary outlet for all things free of human intention, I, Residuumis a whole new, hardened, kettle of stress / boiling flesh! 40-something minutes of free, lawless sound, battering away on yer noggin’, screaming metal and tortured circuit boards come to form a punishing yet enchanting cadence - the sound of lying beneath an old rickety London Underground train as it rattles through a tunnel built barely big enough to fit it, creating ear-piercing vacuums as it rattles to its destination, transporting endless grey faces from one screen to another, or as if you’ve caught conjunctivitis on an aircraft carrier and unknowingly walked behind the engines of a revving harrier jump-jet. Aye, a bona fide face-melter.

Powerful stress-test and a BIG recommendation if you are intae Atrax Morgue, P.S.F., M.B. + the POINTY END of ESP Disk.

  

VARIOUS ARTISTS
TWO SPIRITS

UVB-76 | 12" | £10.99
 
Crucial mini-comp from the UVB bunker, the latest chapter in their wholesale (but somehow barely remarked-upon by the wider world!) reinvention of dnb, but this time calling on a four-man hit-squad from beyond their immediate personnel - leading off with a cavernous, Ruffhouse-style dungeon stepper from newcomer Entire. Nekyia offers a more minimal, dub-techno-flavoured take on the same sort of rhythm, while the increasingly ubiquitous Forest Drive West delivers one of his very best productions to date in the form of 'Inverse''s skeletal but tuff, tensile drumfunk. The most impressive salvo though comes from another shadowy London producer: Hidden Hawaii associate DB1 and his time-signature-defying, techno-into-db revelation, 'Duppy Pulse'. Outstanding 12"! 

COIL
THE APE OF NAPLES

IMPORTANT | 2LP | £28.99

 

Quite amazing that the chaotic deluge of reissues that have materialised since Peter Christopherson’s passing have almost succeeded in making Coil seem boring. Yes, you CAN have too much of a good thing - no one likes to have a starter of chocolate cake followed by a main course of chocolate cake and then chocolate cake for dessert (except my old mate Dean and he would be the first to admit he is FAT and not entirely happy). Coil records are generally speaking rich, bountiful, complex and multivalent things, and you need time to savour them, immerse yourself in them, and then, ideally, enjoy some distance from them. Some kind of patient, coherent and above-all chronological reissue programme  - I think there was talk of Mego doing something like that at one point, but it didn’t come to pass - might have served the band’s legacy better, and might have better narrativised their evolution. But I suppose that approach might have been annoying and limiting and de-libidinizing in a dozen other ways, and also wouldn’t exactly reflect the disorderly way in which their work was published when they were still alive. Why try to make sense of senseless of things? So…it’s fine.

Following on from recent revivals of Worship The GlitchTime MachinesAnother Brown WorldAstral Disaster and who knows what else, comes another outing for The Ape of Naples, more accurately a second pressing (2LP gatefold) for Important’s robust 2016 reissue. Enough time has elapsed since its initial release in 2005 for us to say, with a fair bit of confidence, that Ape is Coil’s masterpiece (and to be fair that sort of praise was pretty forthcoming even at the time). Completed by Christopherson in the aftermath of Jhonn Balance’s untimely death, you can’t help but feel it is, at some level, the sublimation of Balance’s deepest desire: to speak not TO “the absolute elsewhere”, but FROM it, to literally become a ghost, free of bodily limitations, a purely metaphysical, ethereal, and ultimately mythological being. An angel, a daemon, a god… or just a flux of deterritorialised energy. Working with Balance vocal takes and other material recorded at Trent Reznor’s New Orleans studio for the blighted Backwards LP, Christopherson created a work of sonic necromancy that is also, quite obviously, a devotional act, an expression of love and unimaginable grief.

Although it's Sleazy's inspired arrangements and glinting, gleaming threshold-electronics that bind The Ape of Naples together, he was fortunate to have a talented hit-squad of musicians in his employ as well: not just established lieutenants Drew McDowall and Thighpaulsandra, but also Ossian Brown (“synths and sensibility”), Cliff Stapleton (hurdy gurdy) and Mike York (pipes and duduk). All are crucial to the realisation of Ape’s vivid, transdimensional traumascape, its droning, cyclical songs which marry the mechanic and the organic, the astral and the shit-under-your-fingernails earthbound. Not for the first time, but never more so than here, Coil sound like a (cyber-)gothic folk band - Comus in space. Unsurprising that Sleazy’s next project was TG’s Desertshore installation, the Nico/Cale influence is really noticeable here.

'The Last Amethyst Deceiver', 'Cold Cell', 'Teenage Lightning'...every single track is stand-alone magnificent, and vital to the architecture of the whole. Closer (in the truest sense of the word) ’Going Up’, sung by Balance in teetering falsetto, is almost unbearably poignant, which only makes the realisation that the lyrics are taken from the theme tune of Are You Being Served? more delicious. It’s the perfect epitaph for Balance, Coil, and now Christopherson: more serious than you’ll ever be, even when they’re taking the piss….having their cake and eating it (hold tight Dean!).

Heavy, delirious with loss and pain, but also strangely optimistic and effervescent and empowering, The Ape of Naples will surely be remembered as one of the last true expressions/documents of England’s Hidden Reverse, and among the greatest albums ever made in any list that matters.

 


NICK KLEIN
THE BATHROOM WALL

BANK | LP | £11.99

Shop fave Nick Klein stumbles back in with sounds from the bathroom wall, not quite going down Wetherspoons and setting up the mic for the old geezer grogging in the urinal next to you, or generating lyrical content from cubicle wall scribblings but tough, rolling, psychedelic grit scraped from basement cludgies where the soap don’t shine. It’s five cuts of bruiser/boozer modular clobber running HOT with blown out, broken hand dryer distortion contorting your surroundings - fleeting moments of clarity feeling like your getting a good wash, as in hosed down in the back lane or thrown in a washing machine with a coupla bricks and cranked to the longest cycle. Another set of tough sluggers from NYC.

 


ALBERTO BOCCARDI & STEFANO PILLA
BASTET

NASHAZPHONE | LP | £19.99
 
Sleeping giant on Egyptian/Algerian imprint NASHAZPHONE from earlier in the year, “BASTET” by Alberto Boccardi & Stefano Pilla is comprised of two shut-out-the-sun compositions (in four parts) - dynamic, troubled, electro- acoustic mesh that carry distant, suffocated melodies and deep, subsonic BEEFCAKE. Screamer. 100% recommendation if you are into Taj Mahal Travellers / Scott Douglas Gordon.

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