These Are Powers-all aboard future CD:
the brain in flux. hey! something really succulent for the senses here. US three-piece (with a revolving slew of carefully positioned feature musicians) – Anna Barrie, Pat Noecker & Bill Salas spilling an exotic elixir of fx-mottled, inventive & gloriously weird “Avant noise rock”? will that do? some claw out their own sound alcove, & fluff it with their own ordinance & specialized accouterments & materials. for certain, i think These Are Powers have shaped & sculpted their own odd dug-out.
a troubled & divergent strain of IDM, walking out of kilter with some kind of avant experimental hardcore, on under-the-counter performance art steroids peeling-away from traces of itinerant rock with an industrial aftertaste – left to shamanic interpretation & outdoor elemental erosion.
conceptually, the eccentricities are left to balloon, run-away with themselves & be reclaimed with the very life-forms they provide habitat for. scores of super synths, giant washing ambiance, noise & blanketing drone weave in, out, over, after. smaller adornments & supporting floridity that range from live percussion, traditional & primitive instruments (or at least sounds) & ritualistic regalia. forest cults, strange sects, seclusion colonies & what we could perhaps classify as “psychedelic phenomena” from desert mountain ranges & roadless canyons. dreamscapes & darkness. “Ghost Rock”. it is as nice as it sounds.
the main vocalist Anna Barie is an incredible presence. very novel & inventive vocal structures, styles & techniques. emotive, hugely variegated & wriggling through some of the most unexpected quarters.
fx-pedals are obviously a serious, serious fetish here …. it’s like an ammo depot ….. deliciously peculiar sounds & billowing black magic.
layers & layers, careful construction, unconventional formulation, difficult positioning, unexpected alignments …. bliss & bloom.
very, very nice stuff.
previous album, 2007’s Terrific Seasons isn’t a scratch on All Aboard Future.
2009, Dead Oceans
Lower Than God-we advanced mask (digital EP):
nailing the moment. fidgety, fevered, menacing, “cool kid” organo-mechanical digital sinew.. throwing strops, fits, break-downs, overloads & pure panic attack & hebephrenic hemorrhage.
from what little i understand, it’s an American guy in Tokyo (Marc Lowe) locking leg-irons with a mainland drifting minstrel.
i am stressing again that this is remarkably contemporary, simulating the instability, uncertainty & frequent interchange of our addled crisis/time, with what feels to me like heavy emphasis on confusion & threat. not that this will stave generous heapings of punchy IDM & quality dance beats, a-la LowRes, Detroit adroit….well-programmed & nicely rounded, from solid foundation to up-tempo jittery skittering.
digital static, synths, ambiance, ominous electric guitar dirge-discordance, computerized sonics, modified samples, field recordings, data orchestral & fx shoals all offer a sumptuous tapestry to stash the bodies. on top of which, anti-phonic guitar shuddering, gobbling turkey saxophone flurries & other tight-fitting madness are woven into the skin-structures.
listen…this is very fuckin’ nice.
excellent placing, drop development, crescendo, multi-platformed variety & alteration between tracks. they all excel as individual cuts, but are superb as one piece in the order illustrated.
should appeal to a large spectrum of ears, from the weirder & more avant or extreme crowd – to the less mordant IDM, experimental, advanced dance music, leftfield & art fuck “intellectually astute” crossword junkies & bubble-tea militia maidens.
once more, just to drive the pillar through the looking glass once & for all; this has truly captured the moments mood.
Glaukom Synod-ogre CD:
hey! there is rust in your rivulets. THERE IS RUST IN YOUR RIVULETS. of all Glakaum Synod’s outgoings over the years, Ogre for me remains a distinctly stark statement.
for those unfamiliar, GS dismantle, abrade & manufacture a difficult mechanical bacterium of Industrial Noise, lo-fi Cyber Grind, recycled Grindcore & Death Metal manipulations welded to glitch riddled samples undergoing toxic fumigation of bedraggled midi noisecore – all running through old software & oxidizing analog circuit boards. it is an excellent, effective & richly characterized formula, further stricken by phases of unusual clunky Industrial dance programming or cruder IDM heavy machinery. it is fuller, weirder & less traditional than any of it’s obvious peers, with it’s control-console deeper in the Industrial, abstruse quasi-Noisecore & mutant IDM sub-quarter.
unconventional structures, difficult ideas, awkward time signatures & unexpected interjections & ambushes litter the laboratory floor.
the whole album plays like some kind of self-dissolving 80’s dystopian-sci-fi nightmare running on specialized antique military communications equipment in the middle of a catastrophic extreme weather event. The album also boasts a very well-engineered ark from start to finish, straying violently over many vicissitudes & alternating terrain (fourteen tracks in thirty-four minutes) whilst maintaining fidelity to GS’s obscure biological-mechanical-mutant aesthetic.
the Cyber & Machine Grind contingent will clearly be sated, with the noise, Industrial & ” abrasive bizarre shit” an obvious target, not to mention the more extreme angle of the IDM audience.
this guy has done a lot of recordings, many of quality, but this is one of his milestones.
original deformity, niche mechanics & vintage circuitry.
initially released as a CDR, this recent edition is as full CD limited to just fifty copies.
2007, Visceral Cicuitry
Down With The West-s/t CDR:
urgggggh yeuerrrrrrr!!! super seditious Fray, Riot Gear & Drill n’ Waste. a highly volatile & disheveled, ultra-subversive hybrid of improvised Jungle, Breakbeat with course, thrashy discordant guitars firing some kind of cult, make-shift, noisy Dance music on badly rusting instruments. human drum-machine Kikanju Baku playing freak-show fast, relentless turbo break-beat, live-Breakcore escaped-Grindcore-genome meets junk-yard Jazz black-market military equipment with some gypsy Chechen vagrant scavenger survivalist who has hot-wired a guitar, laden to the gutter with assorted distortions, fx-pedal bonanza. raw, ferocious, unique, explosive, dynamic & completely singular, like a well-developed genre all of their own. Grindcore, cult extreme metal & the distinct tang of noisecore are a constant shadow, yet none of the latter make any explicit presence, with no blast beats, double-kick, or signature features from any of these genres staking a direct presence. instead, this singular, self-fashioned, land-fill assembled rag-pick of back-street mad max make-shift just fucking detonates shrapnel & caustics on it’s own personal fugitive vendetta. totally improvisational & open-ended, this album showcases one complete & runaway studio session with two more cuts from alternative expeditions. this is one of the few live units Kikanju Baku used to play around London with around 2008-2012… where they would almost certainly playing an illegal squat party in an unoccupied building in the stupid early hours, across all four corners of London, stunning the crowd into shock & seizure with some stupendous display of martial stamina & discordant WTF’ery before vanishing into the black & dull orange like some kind of two-man sedition cell.
2011, Erst-While Antrum