MARBLEBOG / DRAUGURZ split (Tour De Garde) cd 11.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY. Originally released in 2005 as a cd-r limited to a mere 55 copies, and then later as a tape, limited to 144 copies, this killer split FINALLY gets a proper reissue, with new art, and an extra track, thanks to the always kick ass Tour De Garde label. Ben a while since we've heard from Hungarian horde Marblebog, although they've been doing tons of split releases over the last few years, this one though is with Brazilian black metallers Draugurz, who long time aQ metalheads will probably remember from their raved about A Yell From The Past record. Marblebog open the proceedings with some swirling drones and creepy black ambience, before introducing some spidery melancholic guitar, a tangled web of crystalline melody, which gives way to a burst of murky lo-fi buzz, a pounding midtempo depressive dirge, all weepy minor key chords and booming basement drums, with some seriously raspy and hellish vox, reminiscent of Hypothermia for sure, that sort of blackened post rock lope, but the band definitely get grim, exploding into blurred blasts of old school blackness, interspersed with strangely melodic stretches of meandery drift and shades of gloom pop. The other Marblebog track is all solo guitar, a distorted woozy blackened riffscape, creepy and solitary and haunting, a strange tension, as if at any point the drums might kick in, or the song might begin proper, but instead, the riff, twists and transforms, a dense sprawl of mournful buzz and trancelike drone. So cool. Draugurz counter with some ultra raw, primitive black crunch, punkish guitars, stumbling drums, howled distorted vox, the songs sometimes slowing down into woozy warped doomy plods, with tangled minor key leads, sometimes locking into mesmerizing chunks of hypnodrone black metal, like a grim frosty Circle, building to dense blown out crescendos before slipping into more primitive pound. This cd version tacks on an extra Draugurz track, a creepy ambient synthscape, all majestic percussion shimmering layered mournful buzz, with a super strange tripped out synth flute interlude, all clipped bleats and alien flutters, before returning to the stately march that started the track. Killer stuff, from both bands, and probably still limited...
MARBLEBOG "A Silent Hermit" MPEG Stream:
MARBLEBOG / VORKUTA Wanderings (Autopsy Kitchen) 7" 8.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY. Hungarian black metal lords Marblebog have been a longstanding favorite here at aQuarius, and this split with fellow countrymen Vorkuta marks a triumphant return indeed. Both bands specialize in abject black metal with smatterings of goth and punk. Oddly enough, at various moments throughout the record, each band brought to mind Dance With Me era T.S.O.L. - but maybe that's just us. Either way, we're digging it. The record begins with Marblebog's "Uttalan Utakon", a seven minute blast of furious black metal that also sounds surprisingly like early American hardcore, at least before the harsh goblin vocals croak their way into the mix. The momentum is kept going with super fast drums and buzzy guitars before a weird, gothy outro plays out over siren like feedback. Vorkuta's "Prophecies" is a three part display of classic, Darkthrone-esque black metal outlining the joys of killing. While the band doesn't have to work too hard to prove their metal credentials, they also work in an interesting instrumental middle part with backwards tape effects and slow, distorted drums suggesting a somewhat psychedelic approach to their music. Definitely looking forward to checking out more from these dudes, who seem to specialize in splits. A glorious slab of concentrated blackness, limited to 500 copies and pressed on bonechilling pink vinyl.
MARBLEBOG / VORKUTA Wanderings 2008 (New Scream Industry) cd 9.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY. Originally released in 2008 (hence the title) as a tape and a 7", this killer two way split is now available on cd, featuring two Hungarian hordes: long time aQ faves Marblebog, and Vorkuta, who have just one split to their name, but about a million splits. Marblebog should need no introduction, a weird group of nature obsessed black metal warriors whose sound shifts easily from blackened atmospheric drift to blazing buzzing blackness. Their contribution here falls into the latter category, with some of the heaviest Marblebog we've heard, churning Burzumic riffage, over pounding drums, and some of the creepiest sickest vocals EVER, an impossibly distorted raspy gargle, demonic and alien, and so cool. The track is a long one, and slips from frenzied blast to almost doomy pound to woozy melodic midtempo lope, complete with reverbed guitar solos, to epic almost Viking sounding metallic majesty, to skeletal clean guitar post metal meander. So good. Vorkuta, counter with an epic 3 part single track, that explodes out of the gate, super raw and primitive, buzzing insectoid riffing, pounding blast beats, and weird croaked sing songy demonic growls that follow the guitar melody exactly, making the whole song seem seasick and twisted, until it breaks down into a tribal drummed churning breakdown, only to lurch right back into the frantic blasting blackness. Vorkuta too dabble in some abstract ambience, clean spidery guitars over crystalline shimmer, cool effected backwards loops, distant chimes, before finishing off with a buzz drenched tangle of grinding black crunch. Definitely need to hear more from these guys. Who knew that Hungary had such a serious BM scene, beyond just these two outfits too? Judging from the list of related bands, and the pedigree of both Marblebog and Vorkuta, we definitely have some more digging to do...
MARBLEBOG "Uttalan Utakon" MPEG Stream:
VORKUTA "Prophecies (Part 1: War / Part 2: Cleansing / Part 3: Triumph)"
MARCH 15 Our Love Becomes A Funeral Pyre (Emissary) cd 10.98
MARCH, APRIL Triggers (PIAS) cd 15.98
Aah, we haven't heard the sweet sweet voice of Ms April March in years! Her last album Chrominance Decoder came out back in 1999! Her records have always been warmly received for their kicky kitten-heeled retro French stylings. Often resembling a '60s ye-ye girl, she's never fails to deliver the delightful pop in spades. Which is why the first track off of her newest full length is such a jarring jolt. It's a very mid/late '90s-ish electronica number that overwhelms her vocals and comes off sounding like a weak loungey downtempo track. Ick! Fortunately things promptly take a turn for the better after that -- achieving more of a balance between her old crunch'n'jangle guitar bounce, grand Bacharach-esque escapades and her newer electronic leanings. With her English/French vocals and the sleek Euro-pop sounds courtesy of her frequent collaborator Bertrand Burgalat (he played a multitude of instruments, mixed and produced this album), this often veers close to Stereolab and Broadcast territory. So if you enjoy the lighter sides of those two bands, you just might find yourself smitten by Ms March.
"Somewhere Up Above" MPEG Stream:
MARCHES OF THE IRON GUARD In Marcia Guardie Di Ferro (no label) cd 13.98
MARCHETTI / NOETINGER / WERCHOWSKI (Corpus Hermeticum) cd 16.98
For all the grit and screech that has emerged from Corpus Hermeticum (the label run by Dead C's Bruce Russell), this live documentation between violinist Mathieu Werchowski and neo-musique concrete composers Lionel Marchetti and Jerome Noetinger is not as idiosyncratic as it may appear. All three of these French academic musicians are associates of Metamkine - the institution responsible for the amazing "Cinema of the Ear" series of 3"cds documenting the continued research into musique concrete and electroacoustic music. While the trio has mostly relegated their activities to the confines of the studio, this live album proves to be an exception. The two half-hour performances from a European tour undertaken in November 1998 document the trio's frenzied improvisational skree of high end electronics and blood curdling violin scrapes.
MARCHETTI / VOICE CRACK / NOETINGER Double Wash (Grob) cd 16.98
Throughout their 25 year career, Voice Crack (the Swiss duo of Andi Guhl and Norbert Moslang) have sought out fellow improvisers and electronic experimentalists to collaborate with, including 16-17, Jim O'Rourke, Erik M, and Otomo Yohsihide. During this time, they have specialized in rewiring everyday electronics (telephones, hairdryers, answering machines, etc.) and turning them into noise implements. Bonding more over shared punk / DIY attitudes of sound construction than with modes of production, French musique concrete composers Lionel Marchetti and Jerome Noetinger have collaborated with Voice Crack for this dense collage of wild electronic squiggles, buzzing shortwave crackle, creaking field recordings, and short circuited / damaged speakers.
MARCHETTI, LIONEL L'incandescence de L'etoile (Mixer) 3"cd 11.98
Perhaps as an homage to the Metamkine 3" series Cinema Pour L'Oreille of brief musique concrete programs, Mixer (run by one of the former employees of Staalplaat) has released this 3"CD from French composer Lionel Marchetti who has worked extensively at both INA-GRM and at the CFMI in Lyon. The Pierre Henry influence upon Marchetti is quite clear on the first half of the record, as Marchetti splatters the stereo field with an arsenal of chopped up tape noises, mangled effects, and blurted instruments. It's almost comical at first with the sounds emerging as scatological excess and slapstick behavior; but about halfway into the piece, Marchetti shifts gears with a gorgeous display of sweeping sinetones frozen behind a number of reverb units. When the plastic squiggles and whirring spirals of tape machinations reappear, their nature is brazenly hostile. A short 20 minute jaunt, but one that displays Marchetti's immaculate craftsmanship of immense details.
"l'incandescence de l'etoile"
MARCHETTI, LIONEL Portrait d'un Glacier (Ground Fault) cd 11.98
Electro-Acoustic composer Lionel Marchetti has built quite a considerable discography, consisting mostly of collaborations with the likes of Jerome Noettinger (who runs Metamkine) and Voice Crack. "Portrait d'un Glacier" -- one of the handful of his solo recordings -- is an aural dramatization of a mountainous hike up Mont-Blanc to le Glacier de Tre la Tete in France. The resulting musique concrete construction is a slow moving affair with footsteps crunching hardened snow, water splashing, and shards of ice clinking together as the more mundane elements of simply climbing the mountain. Yet as the poignant revelations of the natural space around him, Marchetti weaves in all sorts of non-descript environmental rumbles, barren drones, and textural striations. Additionally, there's a distant mysterious voice yelling (to Marchetti? to the audience?) throughout the album as if to warm whomever of some impending doom that lies just on the otherside of alpine lake. Nice work.
"Portrait d'un Glacier excerpt 1" RealAudio clip:
"Portrait d'un Glacier excerpt 2" RealAudio clip:
"Portrait d'un Glacier excerpt 3"
MARCHETTI, LIONEL Sirrus (Auscultare) cd 9.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY. Recorded at the age of 22 back in 1989 (but just recently released), "Sirrus" stands as one of the earliest documents from French musique concrete composer Lionel Marchetti. This is a trilogy based upon abstract interpretations of natural phenomenon using a variety of speaker techniques coupled with musique concrete tape splices. As a whole the album is a decentralised construction, where the various interludes throughout the album appear to hold resemblances to a narrative that continues from point-a to point-b, but are stopped short of reaching a resolution with a harsh edit that leads into another interlude of sound. At times these interludes are wild flanges on analogue electronics, other times they are dense multi-tracked recrordings of clattering wood (very much like Xenakis's "Concret PH" with its amplifications of burning charcoal), others are controlled feedback squeallings from microphone and speaker constructions, and others again are eerie drones toppled by bursting noises. Quite complex and powerful, this is easily my favorite composition from Marchetti.
MARCHETTI, WALTER De Musicorum Infelicitate (Alga Marghen) cd 16.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY. Eccentric Italian composer Walter Marchetti (whose albums "Nei Mari Del Sud" and "Antibarbarus" are two excellent and highly evocative pieces of electro-acoustic composition) here accompanies his "De Musicorum Infelicitate" with a fragmented manifesto that pines for "a magniloquent destructio musicae, the destruction of an administrated practice, or a tautological exercise devoid of inner necessity." The 10 six-minute pieces of incredibly dense piano solos found within this composition are meant to be so impenetrable as to merely reflect back upon themselves, thus revealing that music merely speaks of itself. Purposefully frustrating and complex.
MARCHETTI, WALTER Nei Mari Del Sud. Musica In Secca (Alga Marghen) cd 16.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY. Beautiful calligraphic tones -- the result of a piano triggering six magnetic tapes, whose signals are displaced out-of-phase, reverberating quietly and slowly over empty space in this stunning piece by Marchetti -- dark and ominous. Along with some excessive liner notes (if you thought we could be long winded), there's an awsome photo of Walt on the back cover enjoying a martini at some dark hotel bar.
MARCHETTI, WALTER Per La Sete Dell'Orecchio (Cramps) cd 19.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY. This disc features three distinct pieces from the sonically adventurous composer Walter Marchetti. The first "Per La Sete Dell'Orecchio" is a beautiful action piece in which a burly Latvian man methodically hurls boulders into a deep cavernous pool (although when I listen to it, I like to pretend it's my coworker Byram tossing rocks into a swimming pool)... and the 'score' might not have specified Latvian brawn, but nonetheless the carefully recorded resonations and the natural echoes from objects dropped into deep waters were intentionally composed for this meditative piece. "Da Nulla E Verso Nulla" appears to be an homage to Harry Partch with playful wooden percussion over oscillating electronics. And Marchetti's "Song For John Cage" is a tranquil collage sewn from multitracked chirps of grasshoppers.
MARCLAY, CHRISTIAN Dj Trio (Asphodel) cd 13.98
MARCLAY, CHRISTIAN Guitar Drag (Neon Gallery) lp 27.00
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY. We have a customer in Japan who HATES Keiji Haino, and delights in sending us emails detailing just how much he loathes the man and his music. Andee of course delights in torturing Allan, an admitted Keiji mega-fan, with these very same missives. Having spied Haino shopping in a record store, our customer remarked "Even the way he looks at cds sucks", and once he emailed that he could make a Keiji Haino record simply by sticking an electric guitar and an amp in the trunk of his car and driving around on bumpy Japanese roads. Which brings us to Guitar Drag, the soundtrack to a video installation in which Christian Marclay, took an electric guitar, plugged it in, tied it to the back of a truck, and drove around dragging the guitar behind him and recording the results. Visually it's pretty amazing. And a clever statement on music and art, as are all of Marclay's pieces. But the sound yields something surprisingly listenable. Super lo-fi, a swirling, clanging crash and crunch of hum and twang and rumble and roar, a noisy mess, perhaps, but surprisingly dynamic, with random melodies and some remarkable sounds surfacing from the murky stringed chaos. Actually, if one was to listen to this not knowing it was some art prank, one would most certainly be forgiven for thinking this was in fact some totally abstract free rock psychedelic freakout, the Dead C, or some mysterious Matthew Bower project, or even -that- above mentioned nonexistent Haino guitar-in-the-trunk record we wish would come out. Not sure what it says about those bands when dragging a guitar behind your car produces the same sound, but who cares?! Art nerds already need this, but now all you free noise psychedelic freaks can feel all 'arty' when you throw this on right between Fushitsusha's Live 2 and the Dead C's Trapdoor Fucking Exit! Cool sleeve image, a video still of the dragged guitar, and pressed on super swank cloudy clear vinyl.
MARCLAY, CHRISTIAN , YASUNAO TONE & CHRISTIAN WOLFF Event (Asphodel) cd 13.98
MARCLAY, CHRISTIAN / OTOMO YOSHIHIDE Moving Parts (Asphodel) cd 14.98
Two living legends of avant-garde turntable manipulation join forces for this duo recording. Downtown NYC fixture Marclay, a true pioneer in using the turntable as an instrument, abusing it and the LPs themselves in ways that even the craziest hiphop DJs wouldn't imagine. Japan's Otomo Yoshihide, whose seminal Ground Zero band set the turntable loose in a free jazz improv context. Ask Zorn, ask Sonic Youth, ask DJ Spooky: they'll all tell you these guys are the masters. Anyway, chances are you already know all that and more...here these two have created a tapestry of scratching, snatches of music and noise: sometimes the musical sounds the needle is pulling from the vinyl and sometimes the non-musical sounds the vinyl is making on the needle. It's not a DJ Shadow style sample-soundtrack, but rather a beautifully rhythmic new-music, abstract and intriguing. It makes sense that this would be released on Asphodel, home to both recordings by hip hop turntablists The X-Ecutioners and 20th century avantgarde electronic composer Xenakis...
"Deep Down Under"
MARCLAY, CHRISTIAN / THURSTON MOORE / LEE RANALDO Fuck Shit Up (Victo) cd 15.98
Fuck shit up, man. Yeah, fuck it up real good! Two Sonic Youth guitarists and their pal, NYC turntable artist Christian Marclay team up for this live performance from the Victoriaville "Jazz" Festival. While it's not, as the title suggests, a purely aggro-punk noisathon, the lengthy improvisation documented here does do some destruction to highbrow art pretense.
MARCUS, STEVE Tomorrow Never Knows (Water) cd 15.98
MARDUK Blackcrowned (Limited Edition) (Regain) 2cd/video 40.00
Sweden's black metal panzer division get the box they always deserved. Two full cds of rare, unreleased and re-recorded goodies spanning their entire career. Plus a live video and a booklet with tons of photos and lyrics. This one's definitely just for diehard fans or big spenders looking for a $40 introduction to one of the most brutal black metal bands around. The re-recorded stuff sounds great, some weird covers, but for the uninitiated, check out 'Panzer Division Marduk' or 'Those Of The Unlight', but those who are already believers, you know you have to have this. Stupidly large box ala the Misfits box from a while back, nice looking, but lots of space and plastic (read: too much), just enough to make sure it won't fit comfortably anywhere on your cd shelf.
MARDUK La Grande Danse Macabre (Blooddawn / Regain) cd 16.98
The mighty metal panzer divsion return with a vengeance, to lay waste to all poseurs in their path. Marduk's buzzing and blazing-fast black metal is fully intact, but this time around, it's tempered with lots of droning mid tempos and old school eighties metal riffs making for a pretty great 21st century black metal/80's thrash hybrid.
MARDUK Nightwing (Osmose) cd 11.98
Newest and best album from these chaotic black metallers, the second half being nothing less than a concept piece about Dracula.
MARDUK Plague Angel (Candlelight USA) cd 16.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
"The Hangman Of Prague" MPEG Stream:
"Throne Of Rats" MPEG Stream:
"Perish In Flames"
MARDUK Rom 5:12 (Regain) cd 14.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY. For a band much loved by the metalheads around these parts, there's a serious dearth of Marduk albums on the AQ site. Only four out of maybe a dozen full lengths. WTF? No excuse, other than just too much amazing metal to cover... So let's try to right that wrong! We meant to get going on Marduk reviews again when Mortuus from Funeral Mist joined on vocals. We couldn't think of a better combo, the blazing buzz of Panzer Division Marduk, and the grim frosty howl from Funeral Mist, but it seemed most long time fans were super bummed on the change, we however were not. Even though we never got around to reviewing 2004's Plague Angel, it ranks as one of our favorite Marduk records. So for those new to Marduk, the thing with them, is they are fast. Really fast. Furious, relentless, the embodiment of pure black buzz. Lots of folks found the band to be boring because of the lightspeed blur the band seemed to constantly inhabit, but we reveled in their blazing blackness. So we were pretty surprised by this latest disc, sure the band had dabbled in midtempos in the past, even a bit of dirge here and there, but Rom 5:12 is pretty heavy on the midtempo Burzumic buzz, and even the doomy downtuned plod, but fear not those chunks of blackness are surrounded on all sides by that classic ultrafast Marduk buzz. The opening track is all spacious and mathy, even post rocky, sounding not unlike recent Deathspell Omega, lots of gnarled squalls of blackness amidst almost groovy black riffing. The second track though returns Marduk to more familiar ground, but not for long. Check out track three. "Imago Mortis", it's downright pretty, sort of major key, with huge sweeping melodies, a dirgey dramatic breakdown in the middle, and a pounding groove laden back half, all complex and mathy, but not at all blazing fast. The weird thing is it really suits them. It makes the perfect balance for the blinding lightning strike of the other more typically furious and fast numbers. Probably the coolest song on Rom 5:12 is "Accuser/Opposer", which features Alan Averill aka Naihmass Nemtheanga from Primordial and Void Of Silence, who adds a whole 'nother dimension with his throaty wailing clean vocals, sounding quite a bit like Mike Scalzi from Slough Feg at moments, wrap your head around that, Slough Feg vocals over dirgey Marduk, hell yeah. What else to say? This totally rules, much more varied than past releases, but still with plenty of ultra fast fury and black buzzing blast, but with a whole lot more going on. Definitely one of our favorite Marduk discs...
"Accuser / Opposer" MPEG Stream:
"The Levelling Dust" MPEG Stream:
"Cold Mouth Prayer"
MARDUK Serpent Sermon (Century Media) cd 14.98
For years, Swedish black metal panzer division Marduk defined themselves by creating a sound that was unwavering, blurry and buzzy and blasting, their sound a furious blackened onslaught that few could touch, and it seemed the group was perfectly happy making the same record every time, as were we. Then, a few years back, the oddly named Rom 5:12 happened, which found the band pushing way beyond their lightspeed blast, and dipping into sounds and songs that were murky and gnarled, tempering their blackbuzz prowess with a bit of experimentalism, looking no doubt to Deathspell Omega for inspiration, as well as new Marduk blood in the form of Mortuus, vocalist for Funeral Mist. And on Marduk's next album after that, Wormwood, the band continued to expand their sound. And while Serpent Sermon is not necessarily another sonic reinvention, and actually doesn't even move much beyond Wormwood, we're not even sure that matters, instead, Serpent Sermon seems like Marduk honing the sound they seemingly perfected on Wormwood, the sound better than ever, dense and furious, weirdly melodic too, the title track definitely has that all on display, a churning almost doomy intro that gives way to blurred lightning fast blasts, and a super catchy, super melodic refrain, the group deftly flitting from part to part, the result a super progged out mathy blackness that position them alongside DSO in terms of modern black metal mastery. And while there are plenty of moments on Serpent Sermon where the ban shift gears into a punkish pound, or a doomic lumber, even some woozy spaced out psychedelia at times, the band do spend the majority of their time blasting and buzzing frantically, effortlessly spewing furious gouts of grinding black buzz that KILLS. But peppered throughout is plenty of weirdness, whether it's creeping droned out buzz over insanely frenetic double kicks, or shredding leads, or dark strummed apocalyptic folk, all of those elements deftly woven into Serpent Sermon's dense, buzzing sonic black fabric. Fans of Deathspell Omega, Funeral Mist, Katharsis and the like, who have yet to discover the mighty Marduk, now's the time to right that wrong, and fans of Marduk can add this grim sonic gem to an already impressive body of black works.
"Sepent Sermon" MPEG Stream:
"Hail Mary (Piss-Soaked Genuflexion)" MPEG Stream:
"M.A.M.M.O.N." MPEG Stream:
"World Of Blades"
MARDUK Souls For Belial (Century Media) 7" 9.98
MARDUK World Funeral (Regain) cd 12.98
The return of black metal legends, Panzer Division Marduk and their one speed. VERY VERY FAST. Seems most metalheads who don't like Marduk, just get bored because with the exception of a record/song here and there, Marduk pick a tempo and stick to it. And that tempo is almost always faster than a speeding bullet. But if you're in the mood for some hyper fast, hyper produced, christ hating, poser smashing black metal, then this may just hit the spot. I personally LOVE Marduk and have been listening to this record a bunch.
"With Satan And Victorious Weapons" MPEG Stream:
MARDUK Wormwood (Regain) cd 14.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY. In the beginning, Swedish black metal horde Marduk were a special breed, a sonic panzer division onslaught, that mostly consisted of locking into a riff, dropping in an insanely fast blast beat, and then letting rip, rarely veering from their course. Fast and furious and heavy. Lots of folks thought they were boring, but for us, the sound of Marduk was transcendent, mesmerizing, hypnotic, cyclical, it was trancelike, and we loved it. The something changed, and Marduk began to morph into something new, something much less one dimensional (even though it was a great dimension), their sound began to drift more toward the avant garde side of BM, becoming more gnarled and convoluted and fucked up, where was once old school classic Swedish blackness, aligned with the Scandinavian pantheon, was now some strange modern avant black weirdness, now more in line with groups like Deathspell Omega, Funeral Mist and the like, which make sense considering Funeral Mist vocalist Mortuus joined the group right around this shift. And while we still hold the old Marduk records near and dear to our hearts, it's hard to deny the twisted beast Marduk has become, especially considering how much the BM envelope has been pushed lately, Marduk may be old guard, but they've stepped up and put most of the new guard to shame. 2007's Rom 5:12 was a totally twisted game changer, bumming out lots of old time fans, but reinvigorating the group, and turning on a whole new legion of fans enmeshed in the more progressive side of BM, which has all lead to this, easily the best Marduk record yet. Certainly the weirdest, and catchiest, the same folks who hated Rom 5:12 will probably hate this one too, unless they've finally come to their senses, for the rest of us, it's a chance to dig in to an incredibly dense and bizarre record by a band at the top of their game. There's plenty of furious blasting blackness on Wormwood, it's just that there's so much more, and even when the band is blasting blackly, they're still twisting it all up. After a creepy intro the band explode into a frenzy of super complex convoluted thrashing, the riffs are strange, atonal, warped, the arrangement is incredible, with the band stopping and starting, lurching wildly, slipping into a doomy creep, only to launch right back into it, the sound is MASSIVE, there's bass all over the place (in a notoriously bass-less genre), Mortuus' vocals are SICK, an inhuman gurgling rasp, and the riffs amazing, wild and tangled and melodic, it's 3 minutes for Marduk, but for other bands it would be a whole record. Which leads right into the seasick lumber of "Funeral Dawn", with an almost industrial martial vibe, soaring epic and melodic, the main melody impossibly catchy, while streaks of noise swirl around the riffs, there's even a breakdown where Mortuus's sick vox are laid over a thick undulating bassline, the resulting sound is like a blackened Laibach. "The Fleshy Void" is a 3 minute hyperblast of black intensity, still tangled and warped, but impossibly heavy and fast, giving way to the super creepy "Unclosing The Curse", all tolling bells and pulsing bass, abstract guitar chords, and hateful vokills, spare and spaced out and super ominous. Wormwood is not inherently a 'weird record', it's not fucked up and freaky the way Furze or Necrofrost are - the weirdness here, the strange song structures, the freaked out non black parts, the fucked up samples, the drones, the doomy breakdowns, they're all seamlessly integrated into Marduk's sound, for every blast of Swedish blackness, there's some soaring melodic almost NWOBHM sounding melody, for every stretch of doomy pound, there's some gurgly bass heavy creep, the whole record is twisted, but subtly so, it's not about being weird or fucked up, it's about making a truly original piece of black art, which by its very nature IS both fucked up and weird. But the fact that's not the be all end all, keeps Wormwood from being gimmicky, instead it's a fierce and furious ultra heavy black metal record, with lots of twists and turns, which in a nutshell, means quite possible black metal record of the year for sure.
"Nowhere, No-One, Nothing" MPEG Stream:
"Funeral Dawn" MPEG Stream:
"To Redirect Perdition"
MARE s/t (Hydra Head) cd ep 11.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY. D'you like Isis? Cult Of Luna? Maybe some Radiohead and Neurosis and Mogwai and 20th-century choral music? Got 12 bucks and at least 25 minutes to spare? Then this Hydrahead debut from Toronto's Mare is just perfect for you!! Seriously, this is great stuff for fans of the above. Mare combines post-rock dynamics, elephantine tones, droning ambience, screaming metalcore angst, all those light and dark shades into one moody, arty package. 'Nuff said, it's good!
"They Sent You"
MARGO The Catnap (Peter, I'm Flying) cd 13.98
If you've enjoyed the recent ultra-dreamy releases from Tujiko Noriko or Lali Puna, Margo might tickle your fancy too! Each track washes over you gently with its lilting, angelic female vocals and delicate musicbox melodies darkened by the presence of IDM gelatinous squidge and crystalline splinters. Quite a mesmerizing combination. Two songs are simply called "Warm" and "Luminous", and those two words fit The Catnap perfectly.
"Warm" MPEG Stream:
MARHAUG / ASHEIM Grand Mutation (Touch) cd 15.98
MARHAUG, LASSE Spaghetti Western Rainbow (Utech) cd 10.98
MARHAUG, LASSE The Quiet North (Second Layer) cd 15.98
Back in 2006, Lasse Marhaug released an album with Joachim Nordwall from the Skull Defekts and Johannes Helden called When The Ice Is Leaving, Scandinavia Is Burning. With a title like that, the album should have been all fire and brimstone of Nordic noise: abusive, throttling, and demonic. It was not. Instead, that was the album you would expect from an album called The Quiet North; and The Quiet North is certainly not quiet. Pure brutalist noise is what Marhaug has in store for us. This wall of obsessive, oppressive distortion comes by way of guitar, various effects pedals, and various pieces of metal to tremendous effect. This is not a subtle record, the various squalls from the guitar strings being grabbed with bloody fingers and scraped with those pieces of metal have the crazed wall-of-sound frenzy you could hear in any number of Matthew Bower productions setting upon a rumbled low-to-mid range distortion that comes across like a two ton pile of gravel being slowly dumped upon the roof of a tin shed. The album begins with a bang and does not let up until its abrupt conclusion some 30 minutes later. Exhilarating to say the least.
"The Quiet North"
MARIACHI AZTECA PRINCIPAL Performs The Kingdoms Of Elgaland-Vargaland National Anthem #2 (Ash International) 7" 5.00
**SALE **SALE* *SALE** Limited to 500 copies. We still have a few though, 'cause for some reason, we never listed it back in 2007 when it came out. "These recordings were regally made during the inauguration of The Embassy of The Kingdoms of Elgaland-Vargaland in Mexico City on August 30, 2002 in the presence of the KREV Ambassador Magalí Arriola and invited guests at Colima 244, Colonia Roma, Mexico City."
MARIACHI EL BRONX s/t (Swami / White Drugs) cd 13.98
The first Bronx record had us at first sight, it's rad blood dripping fangs front cover, and then we threw it on and were blown away, the perfect blend of punk rock and pop, not pop punk, but a gnarled heaviness that had hooks galore with out sacrificing any of its ferocity. We described their sound as being a bit like a metalcore Strokes, or a poppier Coalesce, or the bastard offspring of Rocket From The Crypt, Quicksand, and the Hives. Sounds killer? It is. Err.. was. Three records, all of them heavy and catchy and punky and poppy. We were super psyched to discover a brand new Bronx record, but weirdly enough, the name on the record was Mariachi El Bronx, and there was a big crab on the cover, with the bands name on it in big gold letters, we sort of just assumed that the band were taking the piss, but lo and behold, we threw it on, and whattayaknow, no punk rock, none at all, straight up, real mariachi music. The band live in L.A. and grew up around Mexican culture and mariachi music, and found some of those sounds sneaking into their music, so apparently they decided to go for it and bam, Mariachi El Bronx was born. At first we were definitely a bit put off, and weren't sure what to make of it, but the first two tracks stuck in our heads immediately, and we found ourselves returning to this record over and over again, and listening to more of it and constantly, and it's sort of become one of our new favorites. And this is not like a punk mariachi record, or dudes messing around, this is serious mariachi music, from the instrumentation, to the vocal harmonies, it's pretty amazing that a punk band could pull something like this off, but they do, big time. Just listen to the samples, odds are you'll be as smitten as we were. And again, be warned, there is nothing weird or freaky or far out about this record, other than it's being played by a bunch of punk rockers, this is just a gorgeous collection of super catchy mariachi music, and we dig it big time!
"Cell Mates" MPEG Stream:
"Litigation" MPEG Stream:
MARIACHI EL BRONX s/t (II) (ATO) cd 12.98
"48 Roses" MPEG Stream:
"Great Provider" MPEG Stream:
"Mariachi El Bronx"
MARIACHI EL BRONX / THE BRONX Live (White Drugs / Atco) lp 10.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
MARIANAS Onward + Upward (Elastic Heart) cd 13.98
Think of a melding of the goodness of Japancakes, Mogwai and a smidge of The Notwist (AQ faves one and all!), sound good to you? Well, you don't have to imagine it! Just give this new cd by Marianas a spin. Very dreamily atmospheric and pastoral from start to finish -- the final track "Last Minutes Of The Day" perfectly captures the feel of the fading light of dusk. Sooo lovely!
"Hunting & Pecking" MPEG Stream:
"Last Minutes Of The Day "
MARIE ANTOINETTE OST (Verve/Polydor) cd 17.98
MARIJATA This Is Marijata (Academy Records) lp 16.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY. Super groovy, raw Afro-funk-fuzz album reissued! The label has applied a lot of hyperbole to this release ("toughest and most sought-after African funk record of them all") but since that label is Academy/Voodoo Funk, responsible for such killer reissues as Ofege and The Psychedelic Aliens, we're inclined to believe 'em... and our ears, which tell us that this IS pretty darn awesome and gritty. Recorded in 1976, and originally released on Ghana's Gapophone Records, This Is Marijata features 4 tracks recorded live in the studio, which must have been a sweaty, sweaty place. The core trio of Kofi "Electric" Addison (drums), Bob Fischian (organ), and Nat Osmanu (guitar), plus additional "hand picked" musicians, play a sort of totally tweaked and frantic take on your basic James Brown/JB's style jams, with horny horns and hoarse, crazed screams. That's three of the tracks, anyway, with one other ("I Walk Alone") being more of a soulful ballad, but a badass one. Vinyl already sold out at the label. Compact disc issue forthcoming, as is a reissue of Marijata's other album, Pat Thomas Introduces Marijata.
MARILYN DECADE (Freek) cd 15.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY. British import. A pair of guitars speak quietly and eloquently whilst you drift off to sleep. Somewhat akin to the solo Roy Montgomery albums, but more folk, flowery, emotional, and English. Almost completely instrumental, just breathtakingly lovely and warm. Highly recommended.
MARILYN MANSON Eat Me, Drink Me (Interscope) cd 14.98
If you shudder at the thought of braving the wilds of Hot Topic at the mall, then you should know that yes, you can get the latest Marilyn Manson cd from us. Although he's returned to his more vampiric, finely attired guise, musically he still hasn't hit the spot like he did on Antichrist Superstar. Blame it on what you will -- the absence of Pogo, Twiggy, what-not -- but this is ultra self absorbed and slicked back with ample snake oil and fake blood. Then again, isn't that what's desired and expected of mainstream-wading glitz rock from Hollywood? He's still one of the most savvy and clever modern rockers around, but in today's sensory-numb climate, even his over-the-top attempts to shock fall on the deaf ears of his blase teenaged audience. Antichrist Superstar, we beckon thee.
"If I Was Your Vampire" MPEG Stream:
"Just A Car Crash Away"
MARINE GIRLS Beach Party (Cherry Red) lp 31.00
We have a certain soft spot for that brief period of early '80s British underground female-fronted new wave pop that has been getting revived a lot lately. Namely on Cherry Red Records, the label that championed such sounds to begin with. We made the Young Marble Giants reissue a Record Of The Week a while back, and in its influential wake the whole face of British music had seemingly changed. Bands like Antenna, The Ravaging Beauties, Virginia Astley, Carmel, Everything But The Girl, The Gist, Weekend, and The Marine Girls had kept up post-punk's DIY enthusiasm, but tempered its urgency into breezy and soft, almost loungey acoustic pop. The Marine Girls were a three girl band started by Tracy Thorn, later of Everything But The Girl. All the members sang with simple bossanova-style guitar and bass arrangements with no drums, each song clocking in at under three minutes. Beach Party from 1981 is the Marine Girls first and best and features Thorn before she left to do a solo record and then join Ben Watt in EBTG. Fans of Nouvelle Vague, Liliput, Cub, The Raincoats, or the recently reissued Weekend demos (also reviewed this list!) as well as contemporary bands like Beach House and Grass Widow will find lots to love here.
"20,000 Leagues" MPEG Stream:
MARINE GIRLS Lazy Ways / Beach Party (Cherry Red) cd 17.98
We have a certain soft spot for that brief period of early 80's British underground female-fronted new wave pop that has been getting revived a lot lately. Namely on Cherry Red Records, the label that championed such sounds to begin with. We made Young Marble Giants a record of the week a while back, and in its influential wake the whole face of British music had seemingly changed. Bands like Antenna, Carmel, Everything But the Girl, The Gist, Weekend, and The Marine Girls had kept up post-punk's DIY enthusiasm, but tempered its urgency into breezy and soft, almost loungey acoustic pop. The Marine Girls were a three girl band started by Tracy Thorn, later of Everything But the Girl. All the members sang with simple bossanova-style guitar and bass arrangements with no drums, each song clocking in at under three minutes. This CD compiles the Marine Girls only two recordings, Lazy Ways from 1983 and Beach Party from 1981 before Thorn left to do a solo record and then join Ben Watt in EBTG. Fans of Nouvelle Vague, Liliput, Cub, The Raincoats, as well as contemporary bands like Pillows, Beach House and Finches will find lots to love here.
"A Place In The Sun" MPEG Stream:
"20,000 Leagues" MPEG Stream:
MARINE RESEARCH (Where It's At Is Where You Are) 7" 3.99
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY. New single from new band composed of everyone from Heavenly except the drummer, who is no longer with us.
MARINE RESEARCH Sounds From The Gulf Stream (K) cd 13.98
The first full length from the formerly-known-as-Heavenly-who-were-formerly-known-as-Tallulah-Gosh gang, Marine Research. Faithful fans of Amelia Fletcher and co. will be happy to find that very little has changed with their candy-coated songs and sound. Here they bring you more very, very sweet songs that sound like Japanese girl pop mimicking UK girl pop. With the delicate origami horseys on the cover, solipsistic comes to mind.
MARINE RESEARCH / BUILT TO SPILL split (k) 7" 3.99
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY. Wherein Built to Spill cover a Heavenly song ("By The Way"), and the ex-Heavenly people now known as Marine Research do a Built to Spill cover ("Sick & Wrong").
MARINEVILLE Ready For The Dance (Oak Park Records) cd 11.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY. Not new (it actually was released in 2001), but new to AQ thanks to a visit by band member Mark Williams all the way from New Zealand. If you were to only hear the opening two songs on this Marineville album, you might peg these New Zealanders as a slightly eccentric, subdued country quartet... but venture past those first couple and the ride gets considerably darker and rockier. Many of the later songs are definitely dominated by some stoner/space rock leanings -- very loose strung and low slung with Sonic Youth-esque brooding dissonance - but even so, they're still grounded with some twangy, earthy warmth. The eighth song brings it all together and is quite reminiscent of Yo La Tengo particularly around the time of their Painful album... which is a good thing. Released on their own label Oak Park Records.
"Ghost Of Bobby Forster" MPEG Stream:
MARK Chocolate Covered Bad Things (Catsup Plate) cd 10.98
For fans of Neutral Milk Hotel and other bands ripe with raw emotion and seemingly stream of consciousness lyrics. At times strange and obtuse, Vancouver-based Mark has ventured beyond his usual acoustic-leaning guitar and lonely vocals approach to encorporate more styles, instruments, and voices. Much like Jeff Mangum & co., he enlists the help of his friends to fulfill his musical vision. When it is Mark himself singing, you can be sure he's singing his heart out. Moments of greatness when it all falls together just right.