Monday, December 7, 2009


VOIVOD - INFINI ( Relapse )
The last collection of the now deceased Dennis Piggy D'Amour's amazing guitar riffs are here and Voivod had a major obligation to pull out a stormer of a record, which they more than succeeded in doing. This shines brighter than it's worthy predecessor KATORZ and seals what may very well be the last new Voivod record the world will see. A sad day for loud guitar music indeed. Fate has dealt a cruel hand to the band that gave the world DIMENSION HATROSS, but the good news is that they're back touring to spread their enigmatic and twisted tones!!!

JOHN FOXX - MY LOST CITY ( Metamatic )
Definitely one to file next to Coil's Musick To Play In The Dark series, this is slow burning stuff from a resurgent and very creative Mr Foxx alternating between airy choral passages - IMPERFECT HYMN & BARBICAN BRAKHAGE, and ambient stretches MAGNETIC FIELDS, HIDDEN ASSEMBLY,CITY OF DISAPPEARANCES. Strains of Robin Guthrie or post 80's Vangelis spring to mind and as MY LOST CITY floats by and the cumulative effect is that of someone who spends way the fuck too much time on his own in a basement studio noodling away. Unsurprisingly, Foxx described one of his musical lulls as "living like a ghost in London". That insular tone is apparent in the music although he came across as a decent bloke in the SYNTH BRITANNIA documentary, unlike many of his glory grabbing contemporaries desperate to cling to something. It's all a very long way from his synthlore classic METAMATIC back in 1980 and even further away from his Ultravox associations. GOOD.

Hematophagous habits seem high on PV's priorities. For every great stride forward their ranks swell. I suggest this is because they have become worryingly drawn towards the blood of youth, swooping down from the dusty rafters and splattering product upon us in the manner that a flock of bats might emit a spray fetid warm guano as they approach to sink their fangs into some victim or other. That said, BEWARE OF THE GOD is a concise slab of punk and tracks such as SEX KILLS, I AM THE ONE, FATAL DISTRACTION and NEW DARK AGES are as good as anything the band has penned. Wretch Falafel disemboweled the album in detail upon it's release -

Majestically creepy dark modern classical from Poland. Not quite the satanic howling,  nightmare head spinning and lofty orchestral bashing of the legendary Elend, this is more of a tense and understated gothic soundtrack ( and I mean real gothic - nothing to do with tossers who wear mascara and sulk to get laid!! ). RORATE COELI has a piano signature with more crawling suspense than the Omen soundtrack and enough swooping flocks of crows to leave a right fucking mess on your windscreen. Elsewhere ULTIMATO RATIO REGUM is all huge organ sounds and creepy orchestral dissonance. Why these people aren't as big as their music sounds is baffling!!! Masterful stuff indeed... I want more!!
It's Creative Commons so download it for free here

CHUCK MOSLEY AND VUA ( VANDULS UGENST ALLLIDERACY ) - Will Rap over Hard Rock For Food ( Reversed Image Unlimited )
A VERY welcome return to music for Mr Mosley who's been MIA since his last band CEMENT vapourised some time in the mid 90's. This is, as you'd expect, a hybrid of punk, metal and Mosley's atonal yet dulcet vocals and stands shoulder to shoulder with his greatest work on FAITH NO MORE's wonderful INTRODUCE YOURSELF yonks ago. He can still swing it from big throbbing riffs and tonsil torture to alt. rock stylings as twee as a post Ben Deily Lemonheads and make it work effortlessly. Insipid metallers would often complain that he couldn't sing for shit when indulging in the Patton/Mosley argument thing. The same people would probably consider the noodlings of John Coltrane or Albert Ayler talentless because they broke the precious rules a little.

Sounds like it should be one big unworkable concept or a lame ethno-beat mess, but it's neither. For a man who's made very many questionable records, you can't help but liking Jah Wobble. From his peaks with METAL BOX & RISING ABOVE BEDLAM to the unforgivable piss that was the hopefully deleted and rare PSALMS, it's been a roller coaster of quality. Here Mr Wobble, his wife, Zi Lan Liao on Chinese zither, a host of classical Chinese instrumentation and a few wailing mourning vocalists drift through a feast of Chinese experiments about Dragons and Happy Tibetan Girls and Yellow mountains which avoid all sickening new age trappings. Wobble's throbbing bass maintains a low profile in the mix initially but rises into that trademark Wobble sonic backbone whenever the moment merits it... A killer of an album for headphones, a melting pot of an experiment in respectful hands and a big scary Chinese demon thing on the cover to top it all off.

RAPHAËL BADAWI - Symphonie du Chocapik 2.0
A relatively new discovery, symphonic mayhem, baroque vocals, Manic electronic pulses, classical synth gallivanting across 24 tracks straight out of Poitiers, France. Seemingly structured in 4 distinct blocks, it's hard to keep up with the schizoid frenzy that's supposed to be about something to do with a bong and the wanderings of a girl and her cat. Again, there's a visible synthetic aesthetic here that harks back to the influence of Walter Carlos but there's so much more to it than just that. In stark contrast, some of the other offerings reside firmly in avantegarde noise territory, but it's in the realms of neo-classical insanity that Raphaël Badawi really flexes musical muscle and punches well above his weight!!
It's Creative Commons so download it for free here

SOISONG - xAj3z ( Self released )
If it wasn't enough that Peter "Sleazy" Cristopherson gifted to the world the excellent THRESHOLD HOUSEBOYS CHOIR and is proactive in the glory and general din of the resurrected Throbbing Gristle, He had to outdo himself by collaborating with Ivan Pavlov AKA CoH, creating SOISONG. Not only did this maiden full length and the all too brief masterpiece "qXn94" from last year come in startlingly creative origami packages, but this ( just to be extra awkward ) is an octagonal CD. It makes as much sense as the titles of these records, but where the last one was a pretty dark affair, "xAj3z" is blissfully stuffed with all manner of creation from the vocal stylings of T-HU RI TOH and PAER TAHM ( A little like Walter/Wendy Carlos' vocal trickery on the Clockwork Orange Soundtrack ) to a menagerie of synth tinkling and other genre defying noises that make it difficult to even describe. Sleazy himself reckons it's probably the best music he's ever made...and with stiff competition in his own extensive back catalogue ( including some hundred billion Coil releases) that's something he's probably thought long and hard about!

CLUSTER - Qua ( Nepenthe )
The first new studio material in 14 years from this hugely influential duo, and as you'd expect with an entity of this pedigree, this is quality stuff. Curious sequences chime along, punctuated by all manner of bubbling synth, sneaking melody, background drone and percussive chunk of scrap metal. It defies the temptation to sound like anything from the Cluster of their golden days yet fits perfectly with anything they've done in the past. As music like this exists on it's own it follows that the song titles are complete gibberish - YMSTROB, XANESRA, SO NEY - It all looks like bad scrabble but none of this matters when Roedelius and Moebius are well on form and quite obviously having a blast if they're still being this inspirational at a point where their collective age is 140!!! Touring in 2010 and playing in Dublin in early February.

THROBBING GRISTLE - The Third Mind Movements ( Industrial Records )
Originally an exclusive product to sell at US gigs earlier in the year, this is probably the most cohesive reunion recording, willfully embracing the ambient noise influences of their fruitful separate musical ventures - Threshold Houseboys Choir, Coil, CarterTutti etc. It would be pointless consciously avoiding the utilisation of all this knowledge in TG in favour of leaning towards the post-punk noise pollution that suited them in the 70's. And fortunately the Genesis P-Orridge contribution seems to take second seat in all of this which means that there's no continuation of the ALMOST A KISS abomination that soiled the otherwise wonderful PART 2 - THE ENDLESS KNOT. Being that the PTV3 sound is guitar driven and psychedelic at the moment, it would find an uncomfortable home in THE THIRD MIND MOVEMENTS in any case. Although 10 separate pieces of discord, the whole album locks in as one big piece and is more than worthy of the TG mark of quality!

JELLO BIAFRA AND THE GUANTANAMO SCHOOL OF MEDICINE - The Audacity Of Hype (Alternative Tentacles Records)
A move a lot of people have been hoping for, Jello back fronting a band with that familiar warbly voice box of his, spreading righteous venom and guile. The existence of this has a lot to do with a miniature mid life crisis after seeing Iggy on his 60th birthday and realising he's still got a few years of punking left in him yet. No doubt the realisation that the best way to put paid to parasitic DK alumini was to do a record and make it damn good also factored. THE AUDACITY OF HYPE is a success in that regard. It's brash and noisy and gives out a lot. Jello isn't prone to being stuck for a lyric or idea and so NEW FEUDALISM, ELECTRONIC PLANTATION and THREE STRIKES give you an idea of the range of subject matter. It's as close to what the Dead Kennedy's might now sound like as he's come with his wealth of musical projects over the years ( along with maybe the DOA record ). As one of American punk's worst cases of factual diarrhoea, Jello's well on form!

The wasp in the jam jar returns. Slayer have pretty much investigated all avenues they can within the product description of Slayer so, as with CHRIST ILLUSION, this is the familiar Slayer that we all know and love. No more experiments with over-heavy riffage like the DIABOLUS/GOD HATES US ALL era, or ill-conceived punk cover slop, this is that thin buzzing Slayer that was pretty much perfected in the late 80's - Angry, evil and riddled with very silly Hanneman/King tag team axe shredding. Utterly stubbornly SLAYER, just like it says on the package, It's album 11 and maybe the world doesn't need much more Slayer, but after all these years, on their patch of musical territory they're still untouchable!


  1. Oh to have the time and a fast enough internet conncection to either agree or disagree with ye.

  2. What are your favourite books of the year?

  3. ...All the PETER AND JANE reissues!!!

  4. Don't know half the aforementioned artists but, having read The Wretch's fluent and cogent case for same, want to. Cept Slayer, maybe.

  5. AXIS MUNDI ACTUM and RAPHAËL BADAWI are both free to download off the net at the above links. As good a place as any to start. I've no doubt the rest are also free to download in a slightly more nefarious fashion but I didn't suggest that!!!