This is a pretty intense and extensive issue. This is the first issue to feature reviews and poems by my brother Masami Soranaka and myself.I divided up who did what in the issue down below.
Reviews by Joe:
Oxbow "Narcotic Story"LP, Burial Chamber Trio "Self Titled"LP, Samhain "November Coming Fire"LP, Saturnine "Self Titled" EP and Sunn O))) and Boris "Altar" LP
Reviews by Masami:
Adolf Plays the Jazz "Form Follows Function" LP, Atrium Carceri "Reliquiae" LP, Beyond Sensory Experience "Modern Day Diabolists" LP, Grouper "Dragging A Dead Deer Up a Hill" LP L.A.Lungs"Cryptic Snuggling"LP and Yawn "Open Season" LP
Poems by Joe:
A Simple Fuck You Would be Nice, Elegant Swan and Corroding Under Repetition
Poems by Masami:
Mellow Mirrors Melt, Shanty Slum Squalor( Were Never Returning to this Town) and Amorphous Idiom
A new issue is being discussed,until then enjoy this one as Hallows Eve approaches...
Sunday, October 21, 2012
Conscious.....The conception of breath. Slowly ticking like the orgasmic spring of
death. As the fallen fragments of shadows are painted beneath a genetic anatomy,
& these pieces of fiction bleed with broken shards of fact. As most poetics are
dreamt through the pages of a novel, These melting faces spun in a web of stories,
a line of instruments tuned accordingly to the melodies their lungs echo. Either
shallow or deep, speculated through this telescope of isolation, & we find
ourselves distant from that once close point of axis. So I gaze out alone about an
empty symmetry of grids.Pacing by idly as the world runs to the chasing sound of
a heartbeat, & these apathetic hills stifle the distant horizon. Lying beneath
sluggish blankets of comfort, those lifeless hands will never lay claim to this
world. Until your gasping lungs are relinquished, crying out into the stars.
Mesmerized in the motion of these words, your rippling thoughts succumbing to
the serenity of an apoplectic pond, Vibrations trickling down my spine like
raindrops falling off the limbs of oaken branches, & these trembling waves have
swallowed the shifting snake, Submerged within her fathomless depths,conscious
of a daydream you find yourself drifting through ,like the man who soundly sleeps
beside an empty bottle.Your days fading together in a tumbling row of dominos,
& how these personas seem to diminish like the flickering of a lamp shade. As we
desperately cling to the nostalgia of those passing moments, your eyes hazy &
worn.A frozen shade of pale grey, & Death was the sole conception carved in this
concrete comedy. This collective imagination was observed through itself, Either
vast or microscopic, the shroud is cloaked or unveiled. As your thread slowly
singes into the dust, an unpredictable curtain that descends upon us all, & the
devouring drone of a gong resonates in abstract patterns of frequencies. Shaping &
shifting a formless expression that geometric characters & letters tend to dilute the
void of it's nature.
Corroding Under Repetition:
The clock keeps turning as I keep awaking to the same only thing that I can’t seem to escape. Under the microscope I’m being observed under pressure I seem to burst. Exploding like a time bomb that has been ticking ever so long. As I begin to rust from the same old routine, I can only exclaim get me out of this box that I’ve created out of my own greed and shame!!
& The Equinox falls, so drench the goblet with that potent elixir of mead, sweet as those forgotten days of summer. That sensation bitter as the taste of winter, & we're cruising past those colorful highways. These downtown alleys cloaked as busted bar lights flicker across the greasy windows.The winding streets roaring with drunken floods of bikers. Jackets & faces woven in leather. Got a couple a cheap tricks clinging to the back of their cycles,looking withered as the animal skins their alphas adorn. Revving engines & waving American flags around a Masonic lodge across from this shanty town. That gravel dirt road drifting with sand swept grounds, graffiti littered about its grimy tabletops, piss ridden dumpsters, & broken down fences, & the melting tiki faces drawn along the walls are gazing back at me like a witch doctor with a demented smirk. As parades of social animals scatter,congregated in segregation. Those thrilless thrill seekers,stoic as statues,a dystopian carnival of mirror house characters. These burned out winos glued to bar stools, lonely as the blues mans tune, & In the bright eyed faces around I see shadows of those dreamless old drunks in their distant mirrors,looming.... & The voice of ignorance yells FUCK! At the top of its lungs at the switch of each word. So I guess the dog being walked across the bar wasn't just a figment of my imagination after all, & A belligerent line of bikers storm the joint like they own it, one claiming “Romney was America's death vote Obama!”, A man who was partying it up on the other side in a White House division of hell owned by two sides of the same coin, Ha! Then again a vote, what a fucking joke, another silent scream covered up like the marksmen who fired the bullet in Kennedy's head, & that choice assumes the role of Lee Harvey Oswald as Americas voice lies at the bottom of a ballot box, stifled & dead. Staring down the barrel of Jack Ruby's gun.The electoral college rolling the dice for you, just like your “friends” at the C.I.A.Guess they're still spraying L.S.D in the air to create that fascist fantasy you believe is democracy. Laughter the only cure to life's hypocrisy, & that smell of sweat, booze, & cheap cigarette smoke cloak my essence in their aura like my looming shadows, hidden like the tin flask in my pocket. As these interludes of silence project a ghastly noise, & then the ritual vibrations commence. Magicians evoking energies to invoke a primal essence long lost in the devourers. Those adherents spiraling in possessed circles, the altar held the throne & our theater was the floor. Engulfed in circles of eyes, breathing down the back of your neck. A space tight as a virginal cunt, these glitches distorted in walls of contradiction, captured solely by intensities ear.
The Elegant Swan:
Swimming gracefully in the clear lake below, the pink horizon gives off a precious charm. Nothing can touch the beauty that radiates off your feathers that ever charmingly glow. Underneath the charm pain cultivates. The clear reflection you see isn’t of yourself. The looking glass only shows what’s beneath the surface a beautiful face drenched with the tears that have been seeking a way to surface for years.
Mellow Mirrors Melt:
Gazing through this open window, symmetrically framed outside the mirrors of time, A scene mellow as these silver webs spun from the dissipating glare of the moonlight, That wide open space vacant as the translucent shorelines of midnight,& These drifting tides begin to flow in the calm of this shifting dream, Formless as the scenery of slumber, A cordless channel of telepathy without a sequence projected through a number, As imagination was the only remote resting in my hand, Waking just to withdrawal back to these pleasant shadows, & The surface of this canvas slowly peels away as we melt back into the sheets, Silently fading with the highs & lows of this contagious sense of laughter..... & I'd once penned a tale dreamt through a foggy lens, Scraping it for scenes from tomorrows amends, A remote viewer scribbling sentences wise as the eyes of the womb, Tearing down these towering castle walls to bathe in the vast beauty of nature.
A Simple Fuck You Would Be Nice:
Your condescending ways just prove to me that you think your better than me, you know what I’m happy with who I am. You disapprove of my mannerisms and the literature, art and music I embrace. You second guess everything I say and put yourself in a pedal stool above me. Theirs is no above and below when we are simply nothing but nothingness. Ashamed of your own prison you’ve created,I can’t say the same about myself. The mistakes I’ve made I’ve learned from, I’m not sure if you can say the same. All I can simply say to you is fuck you!!
Yawn "Open Season" LP
I had the pleasure of catching Yawn live around October of last year when they opened a gig at The Social in Orlando. Needless to say, they put on quite a unique performance, playing songs the crowd could either dance to or just get lost inside the head high their synthesized swirls of psychedelia created. The first time I ever listened to them was about a year when I was tripping on a heavy dose of 2CI. I'd stumbled across their latest record “Open Season” never having heard of them before. The album first caught my attention due to the mesmerizing nature of its cover art. To me, it was symbolic of a traced figure that receded into a collective essence.
The record starts with a heavy pounding on the toms & a strange chanting. It then transitions into flowing rivers of synthesized sound effects that seem to paint vibrant colors that flood the walls of your imagination. The band's electronic dream pop style is quite similar to acts like the Animal Collective, yet they still retain a certain originality in their approach that distinguishes them from just being another shadow in their experimental genre.The lyrics are well synchronized with the music emanating a surreal layer of poetry over their colorful explosions of sound. Overall “Open Season” captures the animated aura of a hallucinogenic state overflowing with pools of a childlike bliss. A feeling intensely absorbed through tracks like “Keep Up,” “Acid,” “Magician,” & “Indigo,” while flowing into a more melodious trance in songs such as “Astral Observatory,” “Sing Low,” & “Rainy Days.” These guys are definitely a current band worth checking out for open minded individuals interested in experimental forms of music.
LA Lungs "Cryptic Snuggling" LP
The L.A. Lungs “Cryptic Snuggling” is indeed a unique piece of art counter balancing an inner ambiance felt in realms of the bizarre & beautiful. The strange photograph of what appears to be a doll's outfit masking a child cuddling another puppet like figure cloaked in a ghosts sheet adorns the front cover. Which I'd say sums up the records surreal vibe superbly. In tracks like “Railcar Fracas” this contrast is put into perspective. It harmoniously begins with a soothing guitar melody, transitioning perfectly into a deranged strumming as though the strings fell out of tune eventually snapping under the assailant's pressure.The band seems to express a humorous yet serious approach to their concepts.I personally drew off the feeling of a more artistic philosophy in the sample chosen for the record's title track. My thoughts were that the voice spoke of an exploration of boundaries whether vast or small, how one should see the
extraordinary in the everyday, but for these means to be perceived we as individuals should be in a state of constant change. This to me was a deep commentary on how we as humans should view life as a process of expanding our bounds in every sense & viewing beauty within the mundane & the ecstatic. An essence appropriately backed by the sound of water draining into the void of the listeners internal universe. This Tacoma, Washington duo consisting of husband & wife Nathan & Lori are an original act worth checking out for those who like to
find themselves walking around the melting scenes of a carnival dreamt through
the universe's bending imagination.
Sunn O))) and Boris “Altar” LP
I was already familiar with Sunn O))), but the Japanese experimental band Boris I wasn’t too familiar with. I ended up listening to Amplifier Worship and a few of their other songs and took an interest in them. On Altar both Sunn O)) and Boris create a drone/post rock soundscape that not only entertains but entices the listener. You become lost in a trance and for me this was a dream sequence captured in an audio sense that painted lucid visuals with every note being struck. The album is complete improvised work from both bands, and from what I heard I think these guys did a great job, blending not just their own unique sounds but definitely coming together creating something different that resulted in a masterpiece. The drum fills by Boris drummer, Atsuo Mizuno definitely throw you off to the usual drone that both bands are known for. While the drone soaked guitars of Stephen O Mally, Wata, Takeshi Ohtani and Greg Anderson add the dark melody to this haunting composition. The haunting vocals on Sinking Belle (Blue Sheep) courtesy of Jesse Sykes as well as various guest appearances by Kim Thayi ( Soundgarden) on the final track Blood Swamp, Dylan Carlson, Steve Moore and Joe Preston of drone legends Earth and many others definitely add to this abstract composition created by both bands. In all reality to me this isn’t even about two bands this is one band composed of members of Sunn O))) and Boris putting their creative ideas together and overall creating a great drone album that I recommend in any drone fans collection. You won’t be disappointed.
Grouper "Dragging A Dead Deer Up A Hill" LP
Imagine yourself wandering above your body in a flickering forest of dreams,caught in the gentle winds of a fading snow storm. Unconsciously guided by the whispers of a distant voice, enchanting as the song of a siren. Making you drift along the currents of invisible rivers as you close your eyes.To me, this vision is relative to the ambiance captured in Groupers 2008 masterpiece, “Dragging A Dead Deer Up A Hill.” The brain child of Portland,Oregon's Liz Harris has been releasing records under the Grouper moniker since 2005. For me the picture this record creates is reflective of the balance found at the heart of nature. It embodies such a desolate & empty feeling at times that makes you fall into the drone of its oneirogenic trance, while enticing the listener in such a captivating beauty like a lullaby being sung to a sleeping child by the breath of mother earth. Its atmosphere is layered in the silken webs of echoing synthesizer's, melodious acoustic string vibrations, & Harris sighing surreal lyrics through the voice of a nostalgic ghost. Groupers “Dragging A Dead Deer Up A Hill” is a record that takes it's listener into a sleeping world that's wide awake,masterfully concluding on the peaceful lullaby, “We've All Time To Sleep”.....
I heard about this project through various people in the underground and I never really decided to check it out. I’m not really a black metal fanatic so I didn’t really think this would be my bag to be quite honest, but after trading CDs with the bands founder and composer Jim Greco (Vomikaust/ex Cursed Ruin) I’m actually glad I decided to take a listen to it. Saturnine for me is more dark orchestral type music then it is just straight up black metal. The black metal elements are definitely there in the vocals and some of the guitar and drum parts, but other times with the violin and acoustic guitars it seems to take more of a dark chamber music turn for me. I liked Bobby Marcum’s drumming too I liked that he played fast, but wasn’t just blasting like a lot of people in extreme music like to do. I’m all about blastbeats and thrash beats, but sometimes slowing it down isn't so bad either. The riffs courtesy of Jim Greco (who played all the acoustic and electrics guitars as well as the bass and who also did lead vocals) are actually put together pretty well, and are put together a lot better than what you would usually hear when it comes to underground black metal. The other thing that stands out is the production quality is 10 times better than a lot of underground black metal as well, the whole shitty recording thing just turns me off in any genre of music. The violin work by Rebecca Zapen is quite superb as well and definitely adds to this recording a lot. The only complaints I had were that the riffs seemed to take a while to change for example on the tracks “Haunting Eve” and “Warn the Wicked” the riffs themselves were good, but seemed to drag on just a bit too long at least for me. The song “A Painful End to a Cursed Life” was my personal favorite I like the Disembowelment D-Beat Feel to the beginning part of that song. It really punched you in the face, which complemented the more depressing melodic tracks that started the album off. The last track “In Death’s Lure” (A tragedy welcomed) which features vocals from Josh Jetty (Vomit Spawn/Queef Huffer/Dead Centre) definitely ends the record off quite well with its acoustic and violin interlude in the middle which I also liked a lot. One thing I wanted to point out too was Greco’s vocals, which reminded me a lot of Rob Darken, are torturous screams which add to the music’s torturous undertone of death, depression and pain. Overall for an underground local band Saturnine is definitely worth checking out. I really can’t wait to hear their newer recordings with a new lineup, a live show or two wouldn't be bad either.
Beyond Sensory Experience "Modern Day Diabolists" LP
The duo of K. Meizter & Drakh have been a creative force in the dark ambient scene since the early 2000's, releasing records under the banner of Beyond Sensory Experience. “Modern Day Diabloists” is just their most recent effort in a long string of unconscious symphonies. The record begins with a voice droning in their native Swedish tongue backed by an ambiance that you could drift off into as you close your eyes. In general, the songs tend to emit a meditative vibe swimming with layers of sound, varied as the consistency of a dream. A feeling lucidly envisioned in tracks like “Between Sleeping & Waking”. The trailing guitars coupled with the appropriate sample “I had the craziest dream last night” I'd imagine were selected to express the creator's philosophy on the nature of existence in some sense. Reality is, at times, like walking through a dream, while dreams can feel just as real as when your “awake”. We as humans are between these worlds either one no less real or imaginary. In fact they're one in the same.The sole difference being they obey different laws of physics. The title track “Modern Day Diabolists” is also quite interesting. The sound scape makes me feel like I'm dissolving into the overwhelming aura their synths evoke, clarity only a glimpse created by each perfectly orchestrated glitch between this ritual madness.On tracks such as “Rapt From Earthly Things” & “The Testimony of Memory,”a more sombre & melancholic essence beautifully bleeds through the listeners ears, serenely captured by the darkness their piano pieces create. “Testimony”superbly embodies the at times stone nature of memory, a testament to our existence. The song borders between the lines of melancholy, drone, & a dreamlike ecstasy. Within this record, the listener should truly be able to “Locate Imaginary Objects in Real Places”. Just try to see music as more then sounds & find yourself submerged in a realm where the imagination is the catalyst & it's up to the individual to create a landscape in their respective mind. Be that surreal or mundane to those tuning in.
Samhain “November Coming Fire” LP
Glen Danzig has taken many shapes and forms in the various bands he’s been in. While most people adore the old school Misfits and his solo Danzig era, not everyone, but most seem to forget about his mid period band Samhain. Even though I like what Danzig did with the Misfits and earlier/ambient period Danzig recordings, the material he wrote and recorded with Samhain really grabs my attention opposed to his other projects. Samhain lacks the cheesy qualities the Misfits had and takes a darker turn lyrically and musically than the Misfits.” November Coming Fire’s” songs are laden with darker sounding guitars and bass, keyboards, tribal/ritualistic sounding drums and the trademark Danzig vocals that of course earned him the nick name Evil Elvis. The noisy effects in the background marked with the reverb vocals almost gives this more a dark rock feel than the hardcore punk sound that is apparent in the Misfits. The songs “Mother of Mercy”, “To Walk the Night”, “Birthright” and “Human Pony Girl” are my favorites on the album. I love the bands rendition of the old Misfits classic “Halloween” coined on this album as Halloween II it has a way darker vibe than the original song itself. So if you’re a fan of old Misfits or Danzig( especially Danzig) don’t dismiss Samhain. Give them a listen, who knows you might appreciate them as much as I do. Most hardcore Danzig fans should already know that Samhain gave birth to the solo stuff and helped pave the way for Danzig to gain more attention as far as a musician and artist.
Atrium Carceri "Reliquiae" LP
Musical mastermind Simon Heath has been unveiling desolate atmospheres of ambient music for close to a decade now. Atrium Carceri never ceases to disappoint the avid listener, creating a cataclysmic scenery, comforting as the solitude found in isolation & empty as the remains of a deserted city. “Reliquiae” flows with a philosophy present in the track list observed by a more keen perception, while the overall essence musically creates a mood complimentary to each conjoined song title. An aural variation is well founded in “Reliquiae” while also maintaining the natural balance Heath so beautifully expresses. You'll find that sensation in tracks like “Floating Above The City”. For a moment, close your eyes & imagine yourself embodied in the unconscious floating outside your body,gazing out over the world & your sleeping self. The vibrations cast shadows of a spacey trans-dimensional trance state drifting through nothingness while an enveloping desolation lurks in the distance.In songs such as “The Long Walk” you sense the shift from the gloomier alley of introspection to the more comforting realizations found through it's inward path of enlightenment. The spiraling sounds throughout it are symbolic to me of the gradual progression of individual consciousness. Tracks like “A Factory Of Lost Souls” creates the feeling of incarceration. You find yourself in a dingy room where ghastly moans are faint but audible due to the enclosing cell walls of this insane asylum. The ending sound effect brings to mind the image of a sewer lid slowly being shut as you gasp beneath its murky depths. In “Disassembling The Creator” the ambiance is quite pensive. To me, a concept reflective of the cycles of creation & destruction of our internal & external universe . The clock ticking in the background pulls you into the flowing drones vibrating. The last track“Goddess” for me was reminiscent of the revival of the archaic shamanism long forgotten, the winds of mother nature drift along the magical voice of a female chanting beautiful hymns; a perfect curtain to close Heaths world Reliquiae.
Burial Chamber Trio "Self Titled" LP:
I’ve been getting into a lot more experimental drone/doom stuff, and this release has definitely been something that I can’t stop listening to. Burial Chamber Trio is basically a supergroup consisting of guitarists Greg Anderson (Sunn O))),GraveTemple and owner of Southern Lord Records) and Oren Ambarchi ( Grave Temple) and renown Hungarian vocalist Attila Caesar (Mayhem, Aborym, Sunn O))), Tormenter) they create a drone/dark ambient soundscape that takes what Sunn O))) does but makes it even darker sounding. Attila’s vocals are what really catch my attention his tortured screeches, demonic growl and at some point ape like grunts (yes ape like grunts) definitely add to the darkness and horrific vibe you get when you listen to this. Side A features Ambarchi on guitar with Anderson on the bass, hence on side two Anderson goes back to guitar. The music on side A is definitely more on the dark doom/drone aspect while Side B is very psychedelic in nature at some points. The haunting vocals with the dark drone trance like guitars/bass complement each other and make for a great release. If someone would ask me if the band’s name fit the music I would definitely say yes, and if one wants a visual, I would say it’s the Cask of Amontillado meets Altered States, meets riding on the river Styx, this is a definite must in any drone fan’s collection.
Adolf Plays The Jazz "Form Follows Function" LP
dimensions of space with its clean and distorted sample loops. It then diminishes gradually to a period of a silent drone, only to return from that interstellar void with a very calming & serene shoegaze esque melody flowing with electronic sound effects. Adolf Plays The Jazz's quite a creative outfit of our era & “Form Follows Function” is a record worth a listen for those open minded to experimental music.
Oxbow "Narcotic Story" LP
What is there to say about California’s Oxbow? After seeing them at the Scion Rock fest for the first time I didn’t know what to think, was this perhaps the best or the worst thing that I’ve seen? I took a listen to their 2007 opus “Narcotic Story” and I was actually amazed at how good and strange of a record it is. To me the album seems to all intertwine together to create a tale of depression angst and sadness amidst a bizarre musical composition of contemporary jazz, noise rock, classical, avant garde and just plain weirdness. Eugene Robinson is definitely an eccentric frontman who pours his emotions into Oxbow’s music with his haunting personal lyrics, while Nikko Werner’s riffs matched with the rhythm section of Dan Werner(bass) and Greg Davis(drums) round out this unusual masterpiece. I can definitely say these guys are original as far as composition goes, with songs like “Down a Stairway Backwards”, “Time Gentleman Time” and “The Geometry of Business” definitely break away from the typical musical composition that taints most contemporary mainstream music, Oxbow is far from that and even though they might not get as much recognition as they deserve I definitely respect these guys as musicians and artists.