DERBYSHIRE, DELIA, BRIAN HODGSON, DON HARPER Electrosonic (Glo-Spot) cd 29.00
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY. We had the super limited (and crazy pricey!) vinyl version of this a while back, and they flew out of here. We only have a couple left of the vinyl, but we finally got it on cd, at a slightly cheaper price, and now all you sans turntable can dig on these far out sounds!! We all went a little gaga for those BBC Radiophonic Workshop cds, amazing collections of freaky and far out music for movies and radio and television, crafted in mad scientist like labs packed to the gills with strange sound making devices, primitive analog synths, tape machines and all manner of random electronic bric a brac. Delia Derbyshire was one of the Workshop elite, having been responsible for the Dr. Who theme as well as the Tomorrow People theme and loads of other legendary BBC songs and sounds. This cd, is a reissue of a super limited lp, which was itself a repress of a rare and long out of print disc of library mood music released on KPM in 1972. Derbyshire and her sonic cohorts recorded the record as Electrosonic, using pseudonyms as well, to avoid any sort of complications due to their positions at the BBC. The results were of course fantastic. Moody and mysterious, wild and playful, spacey and haunting. From Goblin-esque creepy haunted house synthscapes, to freaky fuzzy funky seventies sci-fi grooves, to far out bloops and bleeps. Analog synths, jazzy upright bass, tons of primitive and not so primitive effects, all whipped into impossibly catchy and fantastical sounds and songs.
"Quest" MPEG Stream:
"The Pattern Emerges" MPEG Stream:
"Celestial Cantabile" MPEG Stream:
"The Wizard's Laboratory"
DERBYSHIRE, DELIA, BRIAN HODGSON, DON HARPER Electrosonic (Glo-Spot) lp 35.00
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY. We all went a little gaga for those BBC Radiophonic Workshop cds, amazing collections of freaky and far out music for movies and radio and television, crafted in mad scientist like labs packed to the gills with strange sound making devices, primitive analog synths, tape machines and all manner of random electronic bric a brac. Delia Derbyshire was one of the Workshop elite, having been responsible for the Dr. Who theme as well as the Tomorrow People theme and loads of other legendary BBC songs and sounds. This super limited lp, is a repress of a rare and long out of print disc of library mood music released on KPM in 1972. Derbyshire and her sonic cohorts recorded the record as Electrosonic, using pseudonyms as well, to avoid any sort of complications due to their positions at the BBC. The results were of course fantastic. Moody and mysterious, wild and playful, spacey and haunting. From Goblin-esque creepy haunted house synthscapes, to freaky fuzzy funky seventies sci-fi grooves, to far out bloops and bleeps. Analog synths, jazzy upright bass, tons of primitive and not so primitive effects, all whipped into impossibly catchy and fantastical sounds and songs. This was SUPER SUPER LIMITED. It's already out of print. We have about 10 copies and once those are gone this is gone FOR GOOD. Gorgeous super stylish sleeve with amazing artwork, extensive liner notes, and pressed on super thick milky green vinyl!
DESCENSION Live March 1995 (Shock) cd 18.98
Ascension, the guitar/drums improv duo of Englishmen Stefan Jaworzyn (Skullflower) and Tony Irving, are joined by leading British jazz players Charles Wharf (saxophone) and Simon Hessian (double bass) for some extreme blowouts. Killer, says Allan.
DESCENT INTO THE VOID s/t (NOTHingness) cd-r 11.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY. Three new sonic missives from the ether, from whatever mysterious alternate sonic universe the NOTHingness label exists in. A world of bleak emptiness, massive expanses of barren rumbling tundra, of glassy black surface sonic pools... Every disc dark and lovely, creepy and ominous, haunting and super intense. And of course outrageously limited... This one is an epic, 73 minute, single track plunge into the sonic abyss, or maybe more accurately 'descent into the void'. Long, drawn out, slow rolling soundscapes of deep swells, soft metallic buzz, and all manner of complex low end filigree buried way down in the mix, giving the track some strange inner momentum, a sublimated chaos, lurking just below the tranquil surface. Harrowing and gorgeously minor key, but the melodies here are just distant streaks, and strange smears of tonal color, everything super subtle, drifting billows of grey grainy shift and pulsing diffused light. Over the course of this expansive sprawl, random sounds surface, float ghostlike and sink back into the ether, disembodied voices, haunting clouds of high end harmonics, bits of hiss and stretched out slowed down percussion, all floating weightless above a soft blackened backdrop. So gorgeous. LIMITED TO ONLY 66 COPIES!! Packaged in a slimline dvd style case with full color cover.
DESERT OF TRAUN Part III: The Lilac Moon (Bruhtal Shocks Music) cd 10.98
DESIDERII MARGINIS Deadbeat (Cold Meat Industry) cd 21.00
DESORMAIS Dead Letters (Intr-version) cd 14.98
DESTROYER FEAT. TIM HECKER AND LOSCIL Archer on the Beach / Grief Point (Merge) 12" 10.98
Pretty sure these will be gone in a flash, so we'll keep this review short and sweet! Likewise, if you want one, please don't dilly dally. A limited edition 12" by a super Canadian team-up of aQ faves - Destroyer, Loscil, and Tim Hecker. Dan Bejar wrote and sang the lyrics, while the other two gents of ambient artistry composed and performed the atmospheric backdrop. Zoweee! Includes a digital download coupon.
DESTRUCTO SWARMBOTS Clear Light (Public Guilt) cd 10.98
The return of the Destructo Swarmbots, who from the name, one can only assume is in fact a species of alien android, who appear in clouds of millions and millions of microscopic musical machines, that swarm into your ears and work their micromusicalmagic on your inner ear, and we love it. The last ep from these things (actually, this guy, named Mike) was a huge AQ favorite, a gorgeous soundscape of whirring droning ambience, and it wasn't difficult to imagine it could have been the work of millions of tiny sentient machines. This new one is a lot more organic, and more musical, conjuring up spaced out seventies krautrock as much as ambient experimental drone music. Trolling similar dark musical paths as Expo 70 or Horseflesh, to name a few recent AQ list luminaries, and thus the curtain is pulled back revealing the heart beating softly within each and every one of these Swarmbots. The opener is a nearly 40 minute ambient space jam, some musical outer space exploration, ribbons of buzzing guitar, and swirls of shimmery synth unfurl in huge weightless loops, drifting amidst glimmering stars and clouds of sonic space dust, rumbling and reverberating as the hull of the mother ship passes overhead. Eventually a keening wash of resonating high end builds into a swirling ocean of sound, melodies breaking apart and joining together again in different formations, almost like some primordial musical DNA, the guitar continuing to resurface like some massive black SUNNO))). The three shorter tracks are like satellites orbiting the first: brief cinematic snippets of sound, strange ambience, mysterious murk, the warm warble of what sounds like horns, the groan and drone of low end tones, fluttering flickers of feedback, buzzing space synth psychedelic freakouts, cavernous low end loops, whirring minimal softdoom, haunting reverbed guitar muted and sent spinning into the ether, foghorn like swells, dreamy bleary eyed melancholy drifts, each track a strange little musical microcosm.
"Fireberry" MPEG Stream:
"Sipping On The Fog"
DESTRUCTO SWARMBOTS The Mountain EP (Public Guilt) cd ep 7.98
What kind of sounds would you expect from a band called Destructo Swarmbots? Don't bother guessing because you'd probably be way off. No squealing, grinding metallic mayhem here, instead this mysterious duo offer up three extended tracks of warm and creepy, fuzzy rumbling drone. As if you were sneaking through a mazelike series of tunnels, only to discover a whole legion of Destructo Swarmbots, secretly toiling away in an underground cavern, assembling some mysterious organic machine, and the huge space reverberates with the ominous humming and whirring of the 'bots incessant laboring. Definitely for the drone minded among you. Cool 3" cd packaged in a normal sized jewel case.
"36 Beautiful Songs"
DETONI, DUBRAVKO Dubravko Detoni with Acezantez (Paradigm) cd 17.98
Five compositions for small ensemble, electronics and tape by obscure Croatian composer Dubravko Detoni (b. 1937). Trained as a pianist and having studied composition at Darmstadt, Detoni is well versed in modern composition techniques, electronics, musique concrete and group improvisation, and manages to incorporates all these elements seamlessly in his works. The five compositions on this CD, recorded between 1973 and 1976, have never before been released in the U.S. Utilizing recorders, clarinets, saxophone, piano, harpsichord, celesta, electric organ, glockenspiel, voice, viola, double bass, tuba, electronics and tape, the music of Dubravko Detoni falls somewhere in the 20th century spectrum between AMM, Gruppo Di Improvvisazione, and Igor Wakhevitch.
DEUPREE, TAYLOR 1am (12k) cd ep 11.98
DEUPREE, TAYLOR Northern (12K) cd 14.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
DEUPREE, TAYLOR Polr (Raster-Noton) cd 15.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY. The packaging of the anti-static shielding bag is certainly appropriate to house the electron modulations of Taylor Deupree's "Polr" album. Released right on the heels of an album for the Mille Plateaux subsidiary Ritornell, this actually marks a big step in the development of Deupree's nano-technist productions. His post-techno rhythmic structures and delicately phased crystalline fluctuatations (dare we call them melodies?) slowly rise out of black box empty spaces much in the same way as Mika Vainio's solo work (especially the ¯ "Metri" album). Very good!
DEUPREE, TAYLOR & TETSU INOUE Active / Freeze (12K) cd 13.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY. An inevitable collaboration between digital clicksters Taylor Deupree and Tetsu Inoue. Insect-like.
DEUTER Nada Himalaya (New Earth) cd 16.98
This was given to me as a gift, from a friend who shares the same love of the deep dark ominous drone as we do, and before he let me unwrap it, he had all of these provisos: ignore the horrible cover, promise to listen to it before you pass judgment, ignore the fact that it's on New Earth records and that it says "Music For Meditation" on the cover, ignore the rainbow logo and the cheesy landscape, ignore the blurbs on the back cover, basically, try to ignore everything BUT the music. I did, and I'm so glad I did. So now we must do the same for you, faithful AQ customer. Listen to the sound samples, close your eyes and let these gorgeous mystical drones carry you off. Some of you may know of Deuter before he went all 'new age' -- he was responsible for D, an awesome early '70s Krautrock document of studio experimentation, tape effects, and guitar explorations. While this is a completely different beast, and may have been intended for a whole different audience, it's actually quite stunning. This definitely holds up to any of our favorite dronelords, Chalk, Coleclough, Mirror, in fact this is another one of those releases that if it were some super limited homemade cd-r imported from Finland packaged with twigs and some wire, people would be freaking out BIG TIME! So let's just pretend that this IS some weird obscure drone cd-r, that way we can skip all the bullshit and totally dig in to this divine droney drift. Made completely from the sounds of Tibetan bells, bowls and chimes, these two tracks (skip the third track, a two minute recording of a burbling stream) are lengthy gorgeous meditational drifts, a deep sea of overlapping tones, shimmering resonance, slowly drifting ovetones, beating gently against each other, creating a dense swirl of microscopic colors and warm subtle shadings. Nearly fifty minutes of divine drone, simultaneously dark and ominous, bright and dreamy, close listening reveals layer after layer of hidden almost-melodies, super subtle mysterious sonic events, a divine dreamworld of deep drifting ambience. So totally and utterly amazing. Pretty awesome that one of our favorite new drone records is not a cd-r from Finland, but a cd from a German ex-hippie new age guru living in New Mexico. Fuck yeah!
"Nada Himalaya 1" MPEG Stream:
"Nada Himalaya 2"
DEUTROM, MARK A Value Of Decay (Rock Is Hell) 2lp 24.00
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY. We've pretty much dug everything we've heard from Mark Deutrom, one time bassist for the mighty Melvins, which is saying a lot, considering his recorded output has been all over the map, from Queens Of The Stoneage like metal-pop, to full on experimental soundscapery, so we weren't super sure what to expect from this new double lp, but we figured it was Deutrom, and it was on the always kick ass Rock Is Hell label, so we figured that however it panned out, we'd be psyched. And right off the bat, Deutrom unfurls some Earth-like dusty twang, not at all what we were expecting, but super cool, acoustic guitars, simple dramatic percussion, we were definitely into it, and then the second song kicked in and BAM, total epic sludge heaviness, huge churning riffage, wild chaotic drumming, angular slo-mo melodies, murky textural drones, the sort of shit that should send fans of the Melvins and Harvey Milk into paroxysms of doom/sludge pleasure. And so it goes, over the course of three sides (the fourth one features a cool etching), the sound pretty much all over the place, but with a focus on riffs and heaviness, which is right where the focus should be. Deutrom has a handful of guest vocalists, who compliment his own gruff croon, with the music slipping from lurching noise rock, to Harvey Milk-ish sludgey groove, churning riffage, howled bellowed vox, at some points that Earth-y twang returns, but in the heavier bits, making for some awesome twangy sludgey noise rock epic-ness. There are some bits with drum machine, and some strange interludes, but the record is rife with epic doomy heaviness, sometimes laced with angular noisiness, but also sometimes slipping into something more dirgey and even almost ballady at one point, but it all works, the production is massive, the riffs kill, there are plenty of hooks too, seriously Melvins/Harvey Milk fans, grab one of these before they are gone! LIMITED TO 466 COPIES!!! Packaged in a super swank full color gatefold jacket, with two full color cardstock inserts, pressed on heavy vinyl, and again, side 4 features a cool mysterious etching!
DEUTROM, MARK A Value Of Decay (Rock Is Hell) 2lp 17.98
Back in print/stock, these came in the mail slightly damaged, so anal record nerds steer clear, but for everyone else, these are seriously discounted, so if slightly bumped corners and less than perfect sleeves don't bug you, snap one of these up before they're gone... We've pretty much dug everything we've heard from Mark Deutrom, one time bassist for the mighty Melvins, which is saying a lot, considering his recorded output has been all over the map, from Queens Of The Stone Age like metal-pop, to full on experimental soundscapery, so we weren't super sure what to expect from this new double lp, but we figured it was Deutrom, and it was on the always kick ass Rock Is Hell label, so we figured that however it panned out, we'd be psyched. And right off the bat, Deutrom unfurls some Earth-like dusty twang, not at all what we were expecting, but super cool, acoustic guitars, simple dramatic percussion, we were definitely into it, and then the second song kicked in and BAM, total epic sludge heaviness, huge churning riffage, wild chaotic drumming, angular slo-mo melodies, murky textural drones, the sort of shit that should send fans of the Melvins and Harvey Milk into paroxysms of doom/sludge pleasure. And so it goes, over the course of three sides (the fourth one features a cool etching), the sound pretty much all over the place, but with a focus on riffs and heaviness, which is right where the focus should be. Deutrom has a handful of guest vocalists, who compliment his own gruff croon, with the music slipping from lurching noise rock, to Harvey Milk-ish sludgey groove, churning riffage, howled bellowed vox, at some points that Earth-y twang returns, but in the heavier bits, making for some awesome twangy sludgey noise rock epic-ness. There are some bits with drum machine, and some strange interludes, but the record is rife with epic doomy heaviness, sometimes laced with angular noisiness, but also sometimes slipping into something more dirgey and even almost ballady at one point, but it all works, the production is massive, the riffs kill, there are plenty of hooks too, seriously Melvins/Harvey Milk fans, grab one of these before they are gone! LIMITED TO 466 COPIES!!! Packaged in a super swank full color gatefold jacket, with two full color cardstock inserts, pressed on heavy vinyl, and again, side 4 features a cool mysterious etching!
DEUTROM, MARK Iraq (self-released) cd-r 12.98
LAST 10 COPIES!!! Already out of print, so this is your last chance... On first listen, we weren't entirely sure what to think. After all, Deutrom once handled bass for the Melvins, did a solo album a while back that sounded more like Queens Of The Stone Age, and he also recently released a cd-r made entirely out of the sounds of a squeaking gate, a record even Deutrom admitted he couldn't listen to. Thus we have Iraq, that on first listen, does indeed have us thinking about that infamous squeaking gate record. But on closer listening, and knowing the sound source, it becomes much more interesting (and maybe even a slight bit more listenable). Iraq is a single hour long piece, consisting of a crackling skittering slightly percussive squelch, chopped and repeated, looped and stretched, sometimes it sounds like Autechre, albeit WAY stripped down, sometimes it sounds like a bug zapper, sometimes it sounds like someone shaking pop corn in one of those readymade popcorn pans you cook on the stove, sometimes it sounds like super high pitched crickets, sometimes... well, you get the idea. Sonically it could easily have been a piece by Ikeda or Hauswolff or one of those folks. But once you realize where the sounds came from, it's a whole different story. Every sound on this disc was generated from a single loop of 7 different recordings of George W. Bush saying the word Iraq. All taken from important speeches, two from this year's State Of The Union Address, two from a speech during which Bush announced the beginning of "Operation Iraqi Freedom" in 2003 and three from Bush's "Mission Accomplished" speech also in 2003. Hard to understand how 7 "Iraq"s became this crazy stuttery staticky piece, until you realize that there are 14,112,000 repetitions of the word "Iraq" per minute in the piece. Woah! Hard to explain Deutrom's concept, repetition equals obsolescence, intrinsic veracity through absolute negation, etc.... yeah yeah yeah, okay, but basically, this is just one fucked up piece of sound art. And who can argue with some subtle sonic Bush bashing? Not us!! SUPER LIMITED! ONLY 500 COPIES MADE!! Each one hand numbered and signed! Packaged in cool hand screened cardstock sleeves with two printed inserts and liner notes.
"Iraq (excerpt 1)" MPEG Stream:
"Iraq (excerpt 2)"
DEUTSCH, ANDREW Loops Over Land (Divine Frequency) cd 15.98
DEUTSCHE WERTARBEIT s/t (Medical Records) lp 19.98
We can probably count the major female figures of Krautrock on one hand. Most of them like Rosi Mueller of Ash Ra Tempel, Renate Knaup from Amon Duul II, Djong Yun from Popol Vuh, or Sabine Merbach from Gila were either singers or muses for their male-led bands. And don't even mention Clara Mondshine, which was a pseudonym for Walter Bachauer, a very real actual man. But even among those women, you don't find too many female krautrock composers. Actually, we really couldn't think of any, offhand. Can you? If so, please enlighten! Thankfully, the brand new reissue label, Medical Records, who has bolted out the gate running with not only one but two amazing (and amazingly limited!) vinyl-only reissues, sets the record straight! The other reissue, Alexander Robotnick, reviewed elsewhere on this list, is a weirdo Italo-disco / French electro classic we've known about for awhile and we're super psyched to see finally reissued. But this one, Deutsche Wertarbeit , the solo project of Dorothea Raukes, is altogether completely new to us and what a fantastic discovery it is! Released on Sky Records in 1981, Deutsche Wertarbeit was Raukes' first solo effort after years of being the singer for a German Progressive band we're not familiar with called Streetmark, who started in 1968, and released 4 lps between 1976 and 1981. Two of those were also released on Sky Records and one of them was even recorded in collaboration with Wolfgang Riechmann, the same year he was murdered. What? Really? Why didn't we know of this already? Just goes to show, there are still many treasures to be unearthed. And if you dug Wolfgang Riechmann's Wunderbar reissue, that we raved about awhile back, or Klaus Schultze, Tangerine Dream, Cluster, Peter Baumann, or even some of the later Manuel Gottsching recordings such as New Age of Earth, then add Deutsche Wertarbeit to the essential kosmiche synthscape canon. But while she definitely fits in with those artists, she carves out her own defining sound of warm minimal hypnotic rhythms and vocoder voicings that display a joyous exhuberance you don't see as much in artists like Schultze or Baumann. In fact this would fit in well with the stuff on that Dirty Space Disco comp, as it sounds like a mystical combination of Vangelis and Popol Vuh, expansive and cosmic, upliftingly propulsive while keeping it all beautifully reigned in. LIMITED TO 500 COPIES, each 180 gram colored vinyl and hand-numbered. We're not sure how long we'll have these, so don't wait too long. Highest Recommendation!!!!!!
"Guten Abend Leute" MPEG Stream:
"Auf Engelsflugeln" MPEG Stream:
"Der Grosse Atem"
DEVIL DOLL Dies Irae (Hurdy Gurdy) cd 17.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY. Another disc of horrifying progressive creepiness from Italian underground masters of the bizarre and the frightening, Devil Doll. Never was a band more suited to scoring horror films (since Goblin), but Devil Doll don't, they just weave epic and haunting filmless scores, leaving it to your imagination to come up with the ghastly images that must surely accompany music this horrific. Dark and meandering, strings and organs, and this time around a female opera singer accompanies Mr. Doctor's inhuman falsetto howl/growl. This is so good. Imagine a weirder, and occasionally more metal Goblin, with a vocalist who is Diamanda Galas, Dani Filth and Sainko Namtchylak all wrapped up in one hunchbacked pointy-eared hobgoblin. So good.
"One" RealAudio clip:
"Two" RealAudio clip:
DEVIL DOLL Eliogabalus (Hurdy Gurdy) cd 17.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY. Still even more haunting and lush frightscapes from this Italian troupe of musical miscreants. Orchestral and progressive and heavy and occasionally carnivalesque. Super distorted creep-out piano abruptly shifts to a melancholy soundscape underpinning mad Mr. Doctor's maniacal whispers as duelling distorted cellos and halloween violins explode into a haunted carnival complete with shuffling snares, burping tubas and violent squalls spinning from side to side courtesy of some extreme stereo panning. Imagine Godspeed You Black Emperor if they were raised on King Crimson and ELP, were forced to watch Fulci and Argento movies non stop, while listening to Wagner and Eighties Metal, huffing ether and drinking absinthe. Then add the most insane frontman ever, incorporating the best (or worst) parts of Marilyn Manson, Serge Gainsbourg, Rob Halford, the Gyuto monks, Dani Filth (Cradle of Filth), Geddy Lee, Klaus Nomi and Diamanda Galas. Ridiculous, amazing, and so completely recommended.
DEVIL DOLL Sacrilege Of Fatal Arms (Hurdy Gurdy) cd 17.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY. Another Devil Doll record that we finally managed to get our hands on. This is apparently a fan club only re-release and the sleeve warns that "this music can alter your mental health". It sure is strange enough that it might make you wonder what the hell you're listening to. An orchestra tunes up, some polite applause and then a Sousa-style march that is interrupted by what sounds like an Italian politician whipping an angry mob into a frenzy. Then it gets serious. Strings and organ accompany sinister chants in a liturgy of the damned that turns into a Goblin-esque prog workout. It's a crime that some horror film director didn't grab these guys cause they make some of the most tense, evocative faux soundtrack music we've heard (although this is supposedly an actual soundtrack). About 6 minutes into it, the Devil Doll we all know and love starts to materialise, with the unmistakable strains of Mr. Doctor's hissed/whispered/growled vocals taking over and leading the listener through a surreal maze of terror and insanity. Fans of Goblin will love this. One eighty minute track.
"The Sacrilege of Fatal Arms"
DEVIL DOLL Sacrilegium (Hurdy Gurdy) cd 17.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY. More Devil Doll insanity. It seems unfair to always compare Devil Doll to Goblin, but it's sort of unavoidable as they both traffic in the same creepy proggy nightmarescapes and they are both so good. To be fair though, Devil Doll have more room to play since they aren't composing for actual films, which ends up making them a lot stranger. 'Sacrilegium' begins with a bang, soaring organs and seventies prog slowly overtaken by a demonic choir chanting some sacred rites. Then, Mr. Doctor, the high priest of Devil Doll, begins his serpentine recitation, of mysteries and tales of horror with his warbling raspy falsetto. Truly haunting and fucking far out. Again it's the vocals that keep this band so cult, but if you ask me, it's exactly what makes this band so amazing.
DEVILLOCK These Graves (Tone Filth) lp 10.00
**SALE **SALE* *SALE** We've been trying to track down some Devillock for ages, and while we've yet managed to get any cds, we have finally gotten a batch of this super limited lp. The solo ambient drone project of Tone Filth label head honcho Justin Chris Meyers (who also performs as Panther Skull), Devillock is a lot more dreamy and blissful than the name might lead you to believe. Deep, dark distant sonic clouds rolling in at a snail's pace, tones are stretched out into long sinewy smears, bits of glitch and electronic skitter, bob along like detritus floating in some black stream. Everything enveloped in warm billowy buzz, eventually all tangled up with stuttering streaks of upper register skree, while in the background, the constant ebb and flow of cavernous churning industrial rumbles. The flip side is similar, but if anything, even more abstract and minimal, sounding almost like a black ambient Niblock, all looooooooong tones, subtly shifting overtones, some super creepy slowed down monkey like growls and guttural vocalizations, and little chunks of gritty electronic static and muted buzzing interference. Haunting and serene, yet subtly fierce and intense. Packaged in super subtle, hand painted chipboard sleeves, every one different, the front adorned with a super abstract bit of Pollock-y paint, LIMITED TO 333 COPIES, each copy hand numbered.
DEVOID OF ALL MERCY Cleansac Burial / Shackled To A Corpse (Root Don Lonie For Cash) 7" lathe cut 13.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY. A long time ago, we became pretty obsessed with a record called Your Children Left With The Stranger, from weirdo outsider metal murk merchants Devoid Of All Mercy, one of a handful of releases on the now defunct Battlecruiser label, a sort-of-metal sublabel of the also now defunct legendary New Zealand boutique label Celebrate Psi Phenomenon. The weird thing was, the sound of Devoid Of All Mercy was barely metal at all, instead, it was some strange Bohren / Low style slowcore, a super minimal, skeletal post rock, that slithered and oozed and creeped, gorgeously and oh so lugubriously. We hadn't heard a peep since, but then out of the blue, a clutch of these showed up, an ultra limited (and we mean ULTRA, as in, limited to THIRTY COPIES, of which we got half), hand cut lathe all the way from New Zealand, in a cool, transparent cover, the whole thing hazy and see through. The record finds DOAM refining their sound even further, at low volume, we weren't sure at first if there was any sound at all, but in headphones, the record unfolded, a whispery, hushed, barely there creep, the guitars spidery and ethereal, the melodies detuned and warbly, the vocals, a demonic gurgle, but it too is almost a whisper, in the background, are footsteps and voices, and all manner of room sound, as if Mr. Devoid was just hunched over in the corner, pouring this blackened mystery onto tape, while the world just went on around him, oblivious to the delicate and haunting grimness taking place right under their noses. Imagine a WAY less lush, WAY more abstract, WAY more metal (in spirit if not actual sound) Bohren Und Der Club Of Gore, a dark shuffling abstract anti-rock, more ambient than rock, but plenty harrowing and haunting. Again, LIMITED TO 30 COPIES, we have LESS THAN 15!!!
DEVOID OF ALL MERCY Your Children Left With The Stranger (Battlecruiser / Celebrate Psi Phenomenon) cd 11.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY. Latest slab of outsider underground heaviness from Campbell Kneale's "experi-metal" label Battlecruiser, a sublabel of the always mindblowing Celebrate Psi Phenomenon, which in the past has offered up such hellish atrocities as Black Boned Angel, Mirag, Mrtyu, Wardagger, Wings Of Vengeance, Wolfskull, You Should Have Slain Me, Ghoul, Ming, Cicadashrine and The Cops, so a disc from some mysterious outfit called Devoid Of All Mercy is just what we might have expected. And a record called Your Children Left With The Stranger, scary, evil, creepy, and song titles that sound like they came straight from Texas Chainsaw Massacre, "Last Ride In A Rusting Truck", "Cannibals In The Hills", "There Are No Lights In This Cabin". But what we weren't expecting was for Devoid Of All Mercy to sound like, well, like this. No blasting black buzz, no wall of acid-fried guitars, no glacial pounding sludge, no shrieking or insectoid riffing, no blast beats, no drums at all as far as we can tell. Instead, a lone guitar, picks out a haunting near-acoustic dirge, a slowed down minor key melody, wrapped in billowing clouds of black shimmer, and over the top, a super distorted, guttural vocalist, his voice a wet snarl, gurgling, growling, a strange low end demonic whisper draped over the hypnotic guitar melodies, like some black shroud wet with blood. The thing is though, it's really sort of pretty, like a super abstract minimal post rock, lilting and hypnotic, dreamy and dark, big buzzing wide open chords, arpeggiated guitars weaving expansive melodic crawls, all seemingly suspended and drifting weightless amidst a shimmering soundscape of distant buzz and whir. Minus the vocals, this would be some strange Bohren / Low hybrid, gorgeously mournful slowcore minimalism, but with those rabid snarling vocals, pretty turns into creepy, and suddenly everything sounds just that much more bleak and foreboding. And excellent! Some seriously fucked up, and ultra subdued evil! So recommended.
"There Are No Lights In This Cabin" MPEG Stream:
"Cannibals In The Hills"
DEWAR, ANDREW RAFFO Six Lines Of Transformation (Porter) cd 14.98
Porter Records strikes again. And again and again and again and again... We've been overwhelmed with releases from this one-man-run label juggernaut, we might even have to hire another person just to keep up. But until that happens, we'll just have to pick our favorites, and do our best to get them reviewed and on the list. And with all the stuff Porter keeps digging up it really is difficult to pick favorites, but this one definitely hit the spot. Two long form pieces, both composed by a youngish composer Andrew Raffo Dewar, the first, "Six Lines Of Transformation" is a sprawling drift of deep swells, soft trills, fluttering woodwinds, dizzying melodies, haunting percussion, and plenty of space. This is a swirling soft cloud of free jazz flutter, peppered with some strange music concrete, and some almost folky melodies. Nearly a half hour, beginning tranquil and a bit droney, with the various instruments, sliding down descending scales like musical rainfall, the piece gets more and more spare until the last movement when things get really strange, and players start huffing through the mouthpieces, bits of bizarre percussion surface, buzzing drones, really cool, and pretty strange for sure. But it's the second piece that is worth the price of admission. The title says it all, "Music For Eight Bamboo Flutes", 40 minutes of layered woodwind drone, subtly shifting tones, a slowly unfurling melody spread out over the whole 40 minutes, what sounds like crickets in the background, as if it was performed and recorded outside (maybe it was?), the piece goes from soft and breathy to dense and densely layered, tons of overtones, soft fluttery high end, swirling clouds of drones and tones shifting and shimmering, swelling to intense crescendos, then drifting back down to a hushed whir, so very simple, yet richly textured, so primitive and primeval and mesmerizing and beautiful. Absolutely essential listening for the drone inclined, and jazzbos with a thing for far out, space-y and static sounds...
"Six Lines Of Transformation 1" MPEG Stream:
"Music For Eight Bamboo Flutes 1"
DIAGNOSE: LEBENSGEFAHR Transformalin (Autopsy Kitchen) cd 14.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY. We love weirdo black ambience almost as much as we love weirdo metal. So when a member of one of our favorite damaged fucked up black metal bands, strikes out on his own and spits out a completely cracked ambient drone record, that veers wildy from fierce and freaked drug drenched delirium to gorgeous blown out bliss, we hardly need to tell you that we are ALL OVER IT. This particular slab of cracked sonic chaos comes courtesy of Nattramn, vocalist for Swedish doomic suicidal black metallers Silencer, most notable perhaps for Nattramn's outrageously over the top falsetto shrieks. Here, the vocals aren't so much the focal point, although there are plenty, and while they may not be as hysterical and harsh, they are just as bizarre. In fact this whole record is pretty strange, and if you're a fan of labelmates Stalaggh, this could easily function as Stalaggh's dreamier dronier, equally demented cousin. The disc begins with a big smear of SUNN-y downtuned guitar crawl and some dizzying warped carnivalesque warble before morphing into a simple plodding throb. Gradually, that throb transforms into an Autechre meets Amon Tobin skitter, albeit much filthier and more industrial sounding. Scuzzy and crusty and grinding, all beneath a cloud of buzzed out crumbling synths, and hoarse raspy vocalizing. The next track is almost the polar opposite, a dreamy, wispy ambient drift, minor key melodies and strange blown out whirls of frosty whir and strange, spacious, almost majestic sounding drones. Later moaning mysterious chantlike vocals are woven into a warm murmury backdrop, with muted percussion, while over the top a distorted voice intones all manner of strange prophecy. Not soon after the record shifts gear again and becomes a eerie neo classical slab of militaristic folk industrial, all epic and grandiose, almost like the sound from some old newsreel footage, but much more haunting and damaged sounding, a looped march, beneath thick swells of sound and that voice again, howling out invective, the various notes and chordal shimmer becoming more and more dissonant, eventually fading into a grinding low end drone buzz, that hovers beneath the terrified sounds of a weeping child, and a dungeon's worth of mournful wails and creepy clatter, all wrapped in thick reverb, making it feel like wandering through some ancient keep, wreathed in fog. As we reach the halfway point, the sound shifts again, this time an inadvertent homage to the glistening glimmer of Tim Hecker and Philip Jeck, those beautiful sounds quickly sucked into a black void, a swirling morass of dark sound and low tones, and that voice again, reverbed and distorted, the whole thing sounding like a low end Whitehouse spun lazily at 8rpm, when all of a sudden, proceedings are shockingly disrupted by a super distorted techno pulse, some sort of ultra aggro industrial pound, with shouted sloganeering and more buzzing synths, before reverting to a super distorted, glitchy, crumbly low end glacial rumble, a synth drenched SUNNO))) style crawl with bits of vocal fragments and buzzing streaks of groan and grind, until the whole thing becomes a dense roiling cloud of black ambience. And it's still not over. Gorgeous washed out clouds of gorgeous gauzy atmospheric shimmer drift in, all sepia toned and dreamlike, a long expanse of lazy blurred soft focus bliss, left to sort of float weightless before being overtaken by a confusional collage of overlapping vocal snippets and out of tune, distorted piano, eventually building into a dense squall of swirling spinning sounds. The finally, the epic final track, more black ambience, rife with mysterious sound samples, more disembodied vocals, distant rumbles, weird electronic FX, the whole thing building to a massive damaged doom drone, with epic sheets of keening feedback and thick washes of distorted guitar and churning industrial whir, while over the top, the most demented, damaged, drug addled vocalizing yet, like an inmate in an insane asylum ranting and raving incoherently, the sort of vocals that most certainly wouldn't be at all out of place on one of the Stalaggh records. A seriously damaged and ultra fucked up sonic trip, as beautiful as it is baffling. In other words, AWESOME.
"Transformalin" MPEG Stream:
"Flaggan Pa Halv Stang I Drommens Vastergard" MPEG Stream:
"Upon The High Horse Of Selfdestruction"
DIAL 168K (Cede) cd 13.98
I (Jim) once had a mighty long list of records that I had been looking for. Or rather, it was a loosely organized jumble of folded papers where I noted what I should be digging for whenever I ventured into good record stores (i.e. Aquarius, before I started working here). One of the many things that I just could never find was the first Dial record, which I think I read about in Nick Cain's seminal Opprobrium magazine. I can't even remember what the review said, but in it Cain hit upon just the right key words to keep me looking for the record. Many moons later, an brand new album by Dial turned up here at Aquarius (although not the one I was looking for), and I can certainly see why I would have wanted to hear what this band sounded like. Dial is a collaborative effort between Jacqui Ham (formerly of Ut) and Rob Smith, with a few other NYC noise-rock types joining in. Ut came out of New York's No Wave scene, proposing an angular, post-punk jitter with guitars, squawked vocals, and drums all laboring into relatively cohesive rhythmic tunes. While Ut were never a really gritty or brutal band by No Wave standards, Dial are. Their claustrophobic drone-rock is a dense aggregate of snarling guitar scrape, electric pulsations, and a plethora of lo-fi distortion. In the No Wave spectrum, Dial come much closer to narcotic murk of Mars or a much grittier sounding Suicide. At their most cohesive, Dial make all of the Dead C references too as the drums hit propulsive slop-punk grooves only to trip down the stairs in free-noise fashion. All of these are very good things, and make 168K a very recommended album. If only I could track down the earlier ones... In due time.
"Psychotrance" MPEG Stream:
"Hey Condition" MPEG Stream:
DIAL Western Front (Ektro) cd 14.98
Jacqui Ham may still be best known for her work in the band UT, who operated throughout the '80s in NYC and spilled out of the Glenn Branca / Sonic Youth / Live Skull morass of angular yet droning, art-rock damage. That project dissolved sometime around 1990, with Ham re-emerging with a self-released first album of radically deconstructed songs under the moniker Dial. That first album was a primitive churn of bleak-as-fuck electronics, codeine laced vocal slur, and lots of destroyed amp distortion; it was equal parts industrial abjection, classic NYC grime, and the No Wave pursuit of the transgressive. Since 1996, Dial have only released 4 albums, but all stand as minor masterpieces of visions from the depths of the underground. The Western Front is the first on beloved label Ektro, which is not all that strange a home for Dial, especially with Ektro reissuing the Rat At Rat R record not that long ago. Rat At Rat R being an obscure '80s gloomy, pig-fuck band from bowels of the Lower East Side with connections to Live Skull and Missing Foundation. Production wise, Dial have got the nicotine stain cloud that hangs over every single Michael Morley production (Gate, Wreck Small Speakers On Expensive Stereos, and of course The Dead C). And just like in those projects, this is not lo-fi for the sake of being lo-fi. The grit, the noise, and the grime are all very intentionally applied to these hypnotically reductivist tracks of wheezing drum machine or motorik churn from a live drummer with abused guitar noises, deformed guitar riffs, and violently ripped basslines added into the mix. Ham's vocal snarl is much as it was in Ut, but it makes much more sense here as punctuations amidst her narcotized stream of consciousness that spills through the dirge and grind. "Helium" is certainly a standout track and is straight out of the Pussy Galore playbook with a groovy-hate riff of serrated blues repeating ad nauseam through the hypno-rock damage. In contrast, there's "Silent Way" with its slinky drum machine and quietly tense piano notes and agitated guitar bursts. The album's finale "Let's Forget" is a terse ditty of percolating programmed drums, atonally child-like electronics, and some heroin blooziness bleeding through the guitars. This is the sound of NYC way back when, with the aura of stagnant sewage, spent condoms, rusty needles, and lots of bum trash strewn about. Pretty, this ain't. Compelling? Fuck yeah!
"Helium" MPEG Stream:
"Later" MPEG Stream:
DIAL (NZ) s/t (Robotic Empire) cd ep 6.98
Not to be confused with the Dial from NYC, this is crazy chaotic female fronted math grind metal craziness that RULES.
"If You're Not Battling You're Dead" MPEG Stream:
"Holy Silent War"
DIALING IN Cows In Lye (Pseudo Arcana) cd 13.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY. We're still perplexed how Dialing In, AKA Reita Piecuch manages to make such a gorgeously thick guitar drenched concoction WITHOUT any guitars. Ever since her first record on Celebrate Psi Phenomenon, we've found ourselves returning to her music again and again. There's just so much to hear, and so many sounds to discover. It's definitely noise music, but a sort of noise music that we rarely encounter. Beautiful noise. Listenable noise. Mysterious noise. Thick and gritty, harsh but gently harsh. Cows In Lye continues on from where Ketalysergicmetha Mother left off. Each track a dense sonic journey rife with looped found sounds, voices and inadvertent rhythms, instruments and snippets of songs, all beautifully tangled up into absolutely breathtaking miniature worlds of sound. It's like Jeck and Basinski, Hecker and Marclay all playing at the same time. It can be that confusional, but can also be that compellingly complex. Thick corrosive washes of crumbling sound that so distinctly resemble blown out downtuned guitars cover everything, beautiful looped melodies, strange disembodied vocals, rumbling bass lines, everything an abstract beautiful fragment doused in a crackling gritty patina. Like a supercharged, sludgier Oval, or some beautiful ambient record played on a broken old tape player, and broadcast through a set of busted up high school loudspeakers. echoing off the concrete walls until the natural reverb piles up into a whole 'nother layer of murk and hum. We really can't think of anyone making music this weird and mysterious and so strangely beautiful. There may be a future Dialing In release on Andee's tUMULt label, but for now luxuriate in the gorgeous soft cacophony that is Dialing In.
"He Just Fused Your Minds" MPEG Stream:
"Diamantes Call To Prayer"
DIALING IN Ketalysergicmetha Mother (Celebrate Psi Phenomenon) cd-r 14.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY. First outing from Seattle based sound sculptor, Reita Piecuch, who weaves together thick, overblown, super saturated guitarscapes, all fuzzy and dense, with deconstructed melodies that seem to melt into each other. An ultra dreamy, smeary, looped gorgeousness, like a lo-fi version of Basinski's Disintegration Loops, if the loops were made of white hot slabs of My Bloody Valentine guitar. Or Philip Jeck with a room full of guitars instead of turntables. Lots of crackle and degradation and crumbling distortion and melodies buried in murky fuzz, pop songs smeared into loping loops of stuttering feedback soaked riffing, and guitars so distorted and white hot it feels like listening to the sun. BUT THERE ARE NO GUITARS!!! What the hell?!? So fucking good. Hands down the best cd-r we've heard all year. SUPER LIMITED AS ALWAYS!! NOT SURE WE'LL BE ABLE TO GET MORE WHEN THESE ARE GONE!
"Babel" MPEG Stream:
"Cutting Thunder In Clouds"
DIALING IN The Islamic Bomb (Music Fellowship) lp 19.98
It's been a while since we've heard from Reita Piecuch, aka Dialing In. Everything we've heard, we have loved, as in LOVED, as in became totally obsessed with, so when we heard about this lp months ago, we couldn't wait, and had been chomping at the bit, but now it's finally here, and is as good, if not better than anything we've heard from her before. Piecuch's travels through the Middle East resulted in some absolutely incredible field recordings, local musicians, prayers, street sounds, ambient sounds, voices, traffic, which she then transforms into even more incredible soundscapes. Warped and collaged and murky and smeared and blurry, a whole new sonic experience, which somehow never obfuscates the original sounds completely. Street sounds in Piecuch's hands becomes skittery turntablist drift, all crackly and fuzzy and looped sounding, a call to prayer is slathered in distortion and becomes a woozy blown out buzz, while in the background, a sea of murky grooves and effected street sounds sway and swirl and bleed into each other creating a strangely organic sonic backdrop. The sound is raw and rough and in-the-red, it's a symphony of sound assembled from incredible and mysterious source material, voices, music, and all the various sonic artifacts and detritus that comes with recording on a handheld device. These manipulated and recontextualized sounds become almost pop songs, twisted into new melodies, given new life as some abstract pop flecked collage, somehow lush, for all it's low fidelity, incredibly emotional, due in part to the original sounds, but also, Piecuch's delicate and deft handling of those sounds. The second track is the perfect example, a woman singing, praying, passionately, and emotionally, her singing draped over what sounds like super distorted guitars, the whole thing transformed into a strange glacial dirge, equal part fuzzy fractured slow motion pop and Middle Eastern folk song, white white hot, but moody and minor key and so beautiful you never want it to end. Imagine Philip Jeck, armed with nothing but his turntables, his effects, and dubplates of all the Sublime Frequencies releases, the results broadcast through a busted old high school PA, and recorded onto a microcassette recorder, before being dubbed onto an old tape from the floor of your car, and then finally, in all it's UN-pristine glory, pressed on to thick green wax. Fucking awesome! LIMITED TO 500 COPIES!
DIAZ DE LEON, MARIO Hypnos (Shinkoyo) cd 10.98
Imagine the soundtrack to some strange, and apocalyptic planetarium show, all celestial and cosmic, but exploding in a supernova of looped mesmer and cyclical psychedelia, or picture Steve Reich or Terry Riley composing for minimal electronic trance music, or even the music of doomdronelords SUNNO))), transcribed for processed guitars and synths, and reduced to their rhythmic essence. Record number three from composer / guitarist Mario Diaz De Leon, is a little bit all of those, a dizzying collection of processed synths, and looped abstract guitars, all woven into sheets of blurred crystalline power electronics, smoldering slow build looped minimal majesty, and abstract epic heaviness. Not metal precisely, but still quite metallic in places, and most definitely HEAVY. Too dense and noisy and chaotic to be strictly minimal, but in composition and arrangement, it has more in common with modern minimalism than anything else really. It's as much about texture and tone, as it is about melody and rhythm, the sound is at once atmospheric and cinematic, cosmic and abstract, pieces drifting through space only to explode into churning thrum, and alternately grinding away like some blurred tarpit spacedoom only to blossom into a kaleidoscopic series of dizzying synth swells. Opener "Oneirogen" starts off with a flurry of layered synths, a dizzying big of melodic swirl, that immediately begins to gain momentum, blossoming in slow motion like some sort of sonic supernova, before exploding in a soft cacophony of prismatic melody, the synth sounds more distorted and frenetic, managing to strike a fine balance between hypnotic and intense, the sound pulsing and throbbing and buzzing before blurring into a soft focus cloud of gloriously blissed out dreamdrone shimmer, only to build right back up again to something much more caustic and corrosive, yet still somehow ethereal and spacey. "Consumed" displays Diaz De Leon's other more metal side. unfurling thick grinding downtuned gouts of guitar rumble and keening high end melody, all over streaks of pulsating synth, the result sounding a bit like Jesu as performed by Steve Reich, that sort of thick, blissed out, warm whirling guitar heaviness, but arranged in layers and loops, a heaving heaviness that blossoms into some sort of blackened minimal shoegaze drone-psych doom, that will have Nadja fans losing their minds. The rest of the record finds Diaz De Leon flitting from churning downtuned crush to flurries of celestial synth, in most cases combining them to great affect, "Hypnocaust" fills the sky with wild tangles of sci-fi synth melodies and stuttering chips and chitters, while beneath, a strangely processed guitar rumbles and thrums, unfurling a crunchy bit of oozing disembodied riff-borne dronedoom, while "Cinerum" is something else all together, a hushed bit of hiss and hum wreathed drift, the shards of synth left to float weightless, over a warm woozy swath of lush chordal thrum. "Kukulkan" begins life as a noisier take on the current crop of psychedelic space synth retro futurism, but quickly (d)evolves into almost like an abstract black metal, with fast picked riffage blurred into clouds of droned out drift, before exploding into a kaleidoscopic squall of thick low end swells and pulsing synth swirls, and "Dissolution" revisits the sound of the opening track, again sounding like that planetarium show gone haywire, perhaps signaling the end of Diaz De Leon's dizzying sonic journey. But our favorite track might just be the 8 minute "Faithless", with its hazy, washed out intro, all lush blurred shimmer, and more stuttering synth throb, but here it's much more dreamlike and serene, laced with ghostly voices, definitely reminding us of Zombi, Majeure and the like, super cinematic, but then gradually, those sounds begin to transform, the sound intensifying, and then at about three minutes in, in a squall of high end skree, a thick ribcage rattling slab of low end surfaces, heaving and softly roiling, while the synths continue to churn over the top, it's the abstract minimalism equivalent to THE DROP in electronic music, it raises the hairs on the back of our neck, a sudden burst of energy and emotion and sonic power, which dissipates as quickly as it began, disappearing in a swirl of hushed shimmer, before splintering into a blast of caustic chaotic noise, processed vokills, low end synth buzz, all tangled up into a blackened squall, before finally fading out in a static wreathed drift of soft focus synth and almost Caretaker like melancholia. Utterly fantastic.
"Oneirogen" MPEG Stream:
"Hypnocaust" MPEG Stream:
"Faithless" MPEG Stream:
DICTAPHONE M.=Addiction (City Center Offices) cd 14.98
DIDIMAO s/t (Cococonk Records) lp 11.98
Hell yeah! We've been experiencing a pretty rad renaissance in fucked up (in a great way) music coming out of the Bay Area recently. Didimao are for sure way fucked up and that fucked up sound just hits the spot so right on. Dark and spastic, psychedelic and eccentric, creepy and crawling - this is one of those awesome bands that you really can't sum up with one quick line or a single easy reference. But of course it is our job to try, so what we will say, is that they remind us a bit of the really exploratory stuff that came out of the post-punk scene back in the day, you know, like Saccharine Trust or Butthole Surfers as well as nice hints of Nurse With Wound, Mr. Bungle/Secret Chiefs, Silver Daggers, early Boredoms, Faust, Caroliner, Sun City Girls, 7 Year Rabbit Cycle etc. Anyone can be weird and out there, but Didimao have a true psychedelic spirit that really makes this record an awesome tripped out adventure to listen to, moving through so many sonic spaces and exploring each of them in such interesting and organic ways. Their cover of The Urinals "Surfing With The Shah" is taking us to some pretty fucking epic place where punks get hijacked by psychedelic droners which is, for lack of a better word sooooo rad! Makes perfect sense that Didimao used to jam in the same space Wildildlife, the two share a similar disregard for genre and are constantly blurring and melding different styles and sounds. Totally refreshing, confusing and rewarding. This is one fried and fucked up musical missive that we highly recommend!
"Fingernails" MPEG Stream:
"Surfing With The Shah" MPEG Stream:
DIE BLUTLEUCHTE Rus (Sahko) cd 16.98
This thoroughly bizarre album from the obscure Russian duo Die Blutleuchte becomes even stranger once you realise it was released on the Finnish electronic label Sahko, which is known for the pristine techno minimalism of Mika Vainio's earliest monikers (Philus and ¯ in particular). Conceptually, "Rus" -- Dis Blutleuschte's first and only album -- is a fictional soundtrack to specific moments in Russian military history, starting back in the 15th century with the invasion of Mongolian tribes into Russia and moving onto Peter The Great's war on Finland, both World Wars, the abduction of political dissidents to Siberia, and the development of contemporary Russia through the philosophies of Glasnost. Perhaps to those with an understanding of the Russian language, this might appear overly didactic and obvious with all of the vocal samples which appear in various patinas of distortion and megaphone production; however since we here at Aquarius do not possess such skills, "Rus" appears as an impressive abstraction of history as a collision between grandiose technologies and indigenous folk languages. For example, there would be the juxtaposition of sampled recordings of the clattering of horse drawn carts over cobblestoned roads (pointing to apocalyptic horsemen for one reference, Mongolian invaders for another) with obtusely morose folk songs for guitar, flute, and drums, not unlike the Dead Raven Choir with an oblique sense of timing and emotional bleakness. While the folk songs remain more or less consistent, the references to industry and technology take on more militant references with blasts of megaphone shrieks and harsh mechanical noise. Die Blutleuchte might warrant references in this synthesis of technology and folk to Laibach, Blood Axis, or Moon Lay Hidden Behind The Clouds; however, "Rus" is far weirder than any of those references. A very surprising record!
"Track 09" MPEG Stream:
DIE ELEKTRISCHEN Overload (Dielectric) 12" 8.98
The first salvo of electronic vinyl madness from AQ pal Drucifer's new label comes in the form of four 12"s, beautifully packaged in distinctive orange sleeves (dance 12" style) and on nice thick vinyl, and sonically running the gamut from stuttery glitched out electronica to shimmery drones to speaker shredding digital rhythms to dreamy beatscapes. Die Elektrischen is the project of Dielectric label head honcho Drew Webster (affectionately known around here as Drucifer) and is a stereo punishing exploration of recording detritus. Inspired by Philip Jeck and Christian Marclay, Drucifer collected a multitude of junked turntables and cut-up and glued together thrift-store records for this project. Assembled from all sorts of recording castoffs, digital clicks, feedback, distorted/clipped signals from various recording projects, these 4 tracks are definitely a true test of your stereo system's constitution. Throbbing, grinding, buzzing digital crunch that occasionally relents just long enough for super distorted beats, or chopped drum loops to surface before they are quickly knocked to the floor by another blast of GGGRRRZZZVVVT. The final track is a dreamy droney sprawl that helps soothe after the punishment of the first three tracks. Brutal and beautiful.
"Overload" MPEG Stream:
DIE PROPYLGRUPPE Produkt 01 (Petit Mal Music) 3" cd-r 8.98
Two alumni from the rotating cast of characters who've graced the stage with Nurse With Wound and irr. app. (ext.) comprise this Bay Area duo with the kraut-inspired name Die Propylgruppe, starring the willfully enigmatic R.K. Faulhaber and aQuarius' own rusting artist Jim Haynes. Over the years, Faulhaber has been near to completing album after album, only to never quite get them finished, including one that's long been slated for release on United Dairies; but will probably languish unheard except for a few leaked snippets and hand-burned discs passed out at his rare solo performances. He's one of those brilliant artists who gets far too distracted with new ideas and new forms so that the unfinished just continues to pile up. One of those many ideas that he has is a theoretical concept of 'texture music' defining a cross-section of non-populist and experimental forms that cuts across the 20th century of Xenakis, Boulez, the Hafler Trio, Conrad Schnitzler, etc. Again, a few of these ideas have been actually released, but many remain in an ephemeral headspace. So, we probably have Haynes to thank for actually getting the release of Die Propylgruppe underway; and there better damn well be more coming! He quipped that the two were striving to make an Omit record, and ended up somewhere totally other, through the sounds of analog machinery running amok and wrangled into mechanoid loops and hypnotic patterns, interwoven with arcing drones that align with the nebula peering psychedelia of Schnitzler's Black Album crossed with the industrial-era primitivism of early :zoviet*france: (think Gris or Mohnomische). But by the end of the 20 minute piece, the two maniacally transform themselves into merchants of the danse macabre with an atonal step sequenced synth locked onto suitably wobbling drum machine and strangely groaning electro-acoustic loops. Frankensteinan electronics at its best, and would not be out of place on PAN or Spectrum Spools. Limited to 100 copies in lovely packaging with handcrafted wood artwork!
"Produkt 01 (extract 1)" MPEG Stream:
"Produkt 01 (extract 2)"
DIE TODLICHE DORIS Gehorlose Musik (Edition Krothenhayn) dvd 63.00
DIE TODLICHE DORIS Kinderringellreihen Fur Wharen Toren Des Grals (Psychedelic Pig) cd 15.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY. The atypically named label Psychedelic Pig has spent some serious time digging deep into the cavernous history of experimental music, recently uncovering the very hard to find Masstishaddhu album of dark occultish ritualism originally on United Dairies, and now this collection of obscure tracks from the German absurdist outfit Die Todliche Doris. Forming in 1980, Die Todliche Doris came out of the same underground punk scene as Einsturzende Neubauten and Malaria, but approached the craft of soundmaking with the precepts of Fluxus, in which everything had the potential to be transformed into art. Despite Die Todliche Doris' affiliation with Fluxus practices, they certainly did not share the Fluxus utopian idealism, saturating their work with a bleak nihilism through the deconstruction of pop-cultural references into dissonance and cacophony. Sentimental waltzes, New Wave drum machines, found tapes of the diaries of the mentally ill, '70s glam rock, and mournful clarinet solos spiral into an unrecognizable mess of primitive rock pummel, scraped metallic noise, and varispeed tape hiss. Die Todliche Doris matched their performances / recordings with a number of conceptual art stunts including their vain attempt to get elected to the Berlin Senate, by trying to make themselves popular with a whimsical ditty for casiotone and clarinet; and Die Todliche Doris' performance "in a foreign body" in which the members Dagmar Dimitroff, Nikolaus Utermohlen, and Wolfgang Muller split up for a week and handed over their repertoire to three complete strangers for a performance at a Berlin club in 1981. There's also a really lo-fi cover of "Warm Leatherette" featuring a cold mantra of the title on top of a mass of whirling hiss and grizzled feedback. During their formative years in the '80s, Die Todliche Doris made a considerable impression on the art world due to their large presence in the European gallery / festival scene; less so for the undergound music scene, as their records have gone largely unheard. "Kinderringellreihen Fur Wharen Toren Des Grals" - which features very little of their recorded sessions and instead highlights their live performances - is a good introduction to this German art band, similar to the early work of Destroy All Monsters, the Reynols 'rock' productions, and the post-ironic artrock of Total Shutdown and Black Dice, but much more, um, German.
"Der Letzte Walzer" RealAudio clip:
"Warm Leatherette" RealAudio clip:
"Je N'Aime Pas Tout Le Monde" RealAudio clip:
"Tanz Im Quadrat"
DIE TODLICHE DORIS Live Playbacks (Reinhard Wilhelmi) lp 17.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY. The German avant-noise / art band from the '80s, Die Todliche Doris, made a commitment that they would only play each of their songs but once EVER during live performances. However, during their numerous gigs in art galleries, punk squats, and concert halls, the band would quickly run out of material or risk compromising their earlier declaration. So instead, Die Todlich Doris would play back previous live performances and lip-sync to the backing tape, all the while recording the live show of them lip-syncing to a backing tape! In doing so, Doris captured the general atmosphere of the space, the lo-fi grit of tape technologies, and layers of crowd noise. Conceptually, "Live Playbacks" is very similar to Alvin Lucier's "I Am Sitting In A Room" in which Lucier re-recorded himself uttering a text 32 times in order to manifest the resonnant frequency of a specific room; however, Doris' version becomes a thick swamp of noise rather than a pristine phenomenological investigation. Only a couple (literally, two!) of these are in stock, and restocks are unlikely, so act fast.
DIE YELLOW SWANS / JOHN WIESE split (Jyrk) 7" 2.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY. A couple of these singles came our way when Yellow Swans blew through town a while back. John Wiese is from Bastard Noise and Sissy Spacek; (Die/ Das/ Dance/ D.) Yellow Swans are from Portland and they use a table full of outdated electronics to make blisteringly distorted yet dancable noise punk, or sometimes simply blistering noise, depending on their mood. This record definitely falls into the latter category! Loud and crunchy.
DIELECTRIC DRONE ALL-STARS Dr. One (Dielectric Records) 2cd 12.98
A couple lists back, we reviewed the most excellent "Dielectric Vol. 1" comp cd from our friend Drew(cifer)'s most excellent Dielectric label. Not one to rest on his laurels, Drew now presents a double cd dose of drone, from a pick-up band dubbed the Dielectric Drone All-Stars. It's all part of Drew's desire to mix and match interesting musicians, facilitating creative collaborative collisions in the studio where he works. This project was based on improvised performances (with the instruction to 'drone') by musicians who had perhaps never even met one another before, later processed and mixed by Drew. The results are pretty stellar for this sort of thing, good enough that Drew decided that not just one but two discs were in order. The All-Stars are comprised of Karen Stackpole (forty inch symphonic gong), Bill Norertker (double bass), Garth Klippert (accordion), Tony Cross (violin), Ben Hayes (didgeridoos), and Drew himself in the guise of Die Elektrischen (electric train). Yes, you read that right, electric train! Kinda makes up for any qualms you might have about the digeridoos... If you've already heard the comp tracks or 12" records on Dielectric by either Ms. Stackpole or Mr. Elektrischen, you'll have an idea of the sort of detailed, dark, dense drone they can conjure. Ok, without using the word 'drone' again, let's try to describe this. The lengthy (of course) tracks can be spacey and wide open, or claustrophobic and ominous. The shimmer of the gong and the sawing of the strings and the breathing of the digeridoo are all almost felt more than heard, I mean, you can pick out things from the mix but the various textures are merged into a slow moving mass, a glacial agglomeration that sometimes sounds more like weather phenomena than 'music'. Then again, there's passages on here very 'classical' in tone. There's a lot of depth and dynamics to these tracks, which succeed at being haunting and even beautiful. Recommended to anyone into the d-word. The dronologists here find this compares favorably with the likes of Organum!
"Amon Hen" MPEG Stream:
DIELECTRIC FIELD RECORDING ALL-STARS Re: Record (Dielectric) cd 10.98
Final release from beloved local label Dielectric, so sad, but what a way to go! After a clutch of killer releases, some simple and lovely, some high concept, all beautifully executed and assembled, each sonically breathtaking: the Dielectric Drone All-Stars, the Dielectric Minimalist All-Stars, a handful of super limited cd-r's as well as a four pack of killer 12"s, Dielectric bows out with their most expansive and sonically overwhelming release, the Dielectric Field Recording All-Stars, and like each of the Dielectric All-Stars releases, the title says it all, minimal, drone, and now field recordings. Although all three of those distinctions tend to blur together, especially here. The All-Stars this time around are ten strong: label head honcho Drew Webster, Jen Boyd, Leticia Casteneda, Cria Cuervos, Mark Griswold, WIll Mitchell, Maggi Payne, Toby Paddock, Rudy Trubitt and Aaron Ximm. As with any record like this, there are three critical elements, the players, the sounds, and how those sounds are woven into something listenable. Sometimes a straight field recording can be as compelling as the most intricately composed piece of music, but sometimes, it's exciting to hear a piece of music only to learn later that it was actually a recording of insects or cars or sneezes or whatever. The Field Recording All-Stars got you covered either way. The above ten recordists, compiled an incredible palette of sounds, from all over the world, there's even a chart inside the cd booklet, to see who contributed what sound to each track. The sources are overwhelming to just read, let alone hear: a floating restaurant in Barcelona, Spain, evening in Oakland, California, song on Chinese radio station, eating an apple, pigs in a pen, squeaky shoe, tomato, red ball, phasing radio, Voice of Vietnam, space shuttle, shortwave, Barcelona subway, SF 6am, freezer, blue angels, record player, various radio broadcasts, buskers in Paris Metro, under a dock Berkeley, CA, incident on subway, Chile, dog versus rattlesnake, finger-picked acoustic guitar, weird buzz, air traffic controller, storm drain, weird radio, underwater, answering machine, TV show, shortwave sweep, protest march, failing speaker, Rise up!, protest drums, Riley running, police siren, crosswalk signal, police dispersing demonstrators, turntable, creek pebbles, buoy, leaky organ oscillator tube, Wuhan taxi dispatcher, Chinese busker, wasp nest, streetlight, skipping cd, church mass on radio, unknown feedback, violin, psalter & ball bearing and a slide guitar! Phew! Now, not all of those sounds are present on each track. Some tracks play out like straight field recordings, voices, vehicles, birds, animals, strange clatter and thumps, footsteps, dogs barking different texture and timbres presented raw and unprocessed, but on other tracks, the various sounds were woven together by Webster, aka Die Elektrischen into fantastical soundscapes, running the gamut from deep cavernous drones, grinding metallic melodies, strangely rhythmic bits of skitter and shuffle, dreamy backwards warble, slow shifting underwater shimmer, a few tracks even almost rock, the core being some sort of buzzing guitar or vibrating steel string, with the various found sounds simply adding to the texture or lurking in the background as another layer of sound, while other tracks are epic and expansive, mysterious new worlds of sonic wonder, like wandering beneath strange colored skies, or slow shifting landscapes, swimming in strange seas, every track is like a sonic road map of some unexplored territory, some soft and shimmery, some harsh and brutal, others just really really strange, but every one totally listenable and truly fascinating. This is one of those discs that is definitely amazing on first listen, but benefits from closer scrutiny, repeated listens, deeper listenings reveal so much more going on, layer after layer, each unfolding and blossoming and blurring into each other like some dizzying kaleidoscope of sound. So good.
"Making A Recording... Go Away Please" MPEG Stream:
"Crunchy Frog" MPEG Stream:
"Aether" MPEG Stream:
"Bigger Fewer Smaller Manyer"
DIELECTRIC MINIMALIST ALL-STARS s/t (Dielectric) 2cd 12.98
Continuing the All-Stars tradition begun on Dielectric Drone All-Stars, our pal Drew "Drucifer" Webster (aka Die Elektrischen) offers up another interesting project on his Dielectric label. What Drew means by (musical) minimalism is a bit different from the accepted academic definition, as he admits in the liner notes. He's thinking about minimalism as the practice of making music from minimal, sometimes non-musical, sources. Starting with small sounds and building up from there. So, to achieve this aim, Drew arranged to record an improv session involving himself (utilizing turntables, electronics, and perhaps toy trains), percussionist Jason Levis, and percussionist-turned-dronologist Loren Chasse (of Jewelled Antler/Thuja/Id Battery/Of/Blithe Sons/Child Readers/etc. etc. etc.), who brought along his usual assortment of stones and bells and tape recorders and electronic devices, and quickly became intimate with the inside of a piano that they had in the studio. Subsequent to that session, Drew also recorded some additional sound sources including the ticks and tocks of a collection of clocks, and two people playing wine glasses! Then, drawing on all these recordings, Drew edited/processed/assembled/composed the ten tracks found on disc one of this double cd set, and gave each one a seemingly absurd but cryptically meaningful title. You'll recognize those clocks in there, but everything else has been extremely altered, seemingly shifted into another dimension, one evoking only infinity, vastness, the void. These are truly dark and droned out experiments in sound, which Drew tells us are dedicated in spirit to the early works of Earth. We also are reminded of Q.R. Ghazala, Mirror, and the musique concrete works of a host of 20th century avant-classical composers, those of a more ominous, dread-filled, dronemusik sensibility. Minimalism or not, it's the sort of thing we like! Cool concept, great packaging (translucent vellum booklet and traycard, nice!), and there's even a second disc included at no extra charge -- Drew turned another crew of Dielectric All-Stars (among them Carson Day, Sote and Gerritt) loose on the source recordings, resulting in the remixes found on disc two.
"Forth-Reich" MPEG Stream:
"Cocaine Lovin' Orange County Kids" MPEG Stream:
"Calabi-Yau Space" MPEG Stream:
DILLOWAY, AARON Beggar Master (Hanson) cd 14.98
"Beggar Master" MPEG Stream: