It’s been a while since I’ve posted anything on here. Don’t be fooled by my absence, I’m still digging away trying to devour as much musical output from the dark depths of sound as humanly possible. Most of my time has been concentrating on my fortnightly radio show on Basic.Fm: Unknown Surroundings. It feels like a fresh way for me to share the sounds that I’ve amassed and I’m enjoying every minute of it. Other than that, I’m starting a tape label. First few tapes are in the pipeline and should arrive soon(isn). Check it out: Invisible City Record.

HAIKAI NO KU - ULTRA HIGH DIMENSIONALITY cover

Back to reviewing things for now though. This landed in my inbox a few days ago and is something I’ve been waiting an age to hear. Massive delays at pressing plants, rejected test presses and it’s finally almost ready to go. A new Haikai No Ku LP on Box Records and what a gem it is.

The northeast has a very strong, highly creative musical output and within that lies a close knit community pushing the boundaries of sound. Mooch around certain categories (Noise, Doom, Drone etc.) and certain names are bound to keep popping up. On of those will be Mike Vest as he’s played in pretty much every NE underground band worth mentioning. In Haikai No Ku he’s joined by Jerome Smith (Charles Dexter Ward) and Sam Booth (Foot Hair). There you have some pretty hefty credentials to get the ball rolling. Thankfully, it lives up to the hype i’ve attributed to it. Ultra High Dimensionality is a sparse wasteland of slow burning, primitive rhythm and maximalist guitar worship. All levels are pushed right to the top. Fuzz is turned up high and there’s a heavy handed helping of wah abuse. This all leads to a heady concoction of psychedelic noise. 40 minutes of pure, unadulterated sound that acts as the perfect way to switch off and get lost. File alongside Les Rallizes Dénudés and Mainliner. Definitely one for those who are partial to excessive feedback and traditional styles pushed beyond any conceivable recognition. Highly recommended.

Ultra High Dimensionality is up for pre order via Box Records now.
300 copies on vinyl & digital download. Due for release on 20/08/2014.

Hear a track form the album now if you need more convincing.

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Unknown Surroundings

It’s that time of the week again. Another show has been and gone (soon to be uploaded on mixcloud) and it’s time to share some more music from down the side of the sofa. This time we have decaying piano loops, low end rumble, unidentifiable noises and plenty of hiss and static. 11 tracks of beautifully weird escapism.

Unknown Surroundings 4 will be broadcast on Basic.Fm Tuesday 3rd June.

Here’s the track list:

Black Thread- Leaves Falling iv (Leaves Falling, Turmeric Magnitudes, 2014)

Smut – Nature of the Beast (Vulgar Tongue, Wealth of Abuse, 2013)

Dead End Street Band – III (Black Christmas, Self Released, 2013)

The Zero Map – Halley’s 8 Foot Iron Mural Quadrant (Psychic Glass Dome, Sheepscar Light Industrial, 2014)

Star Turbine – Gravity Delay (Altitude, Sonic Meditation, 2013)

Lost Trail – Montague Summers (Chapter 19, In Which Lost Trail Faces The Year’s End, Jeunesse Cosmique, 2014)

Felss – Small Marks (Lagom, Self Released, 2011)

Tom White – Moredon Cooling Towers (In Poor Visibility, Hibernate, 2010)

The Stranger – We Are Enemies But Not Here (Watching Dead Empires In Decay, Modern Love, 2013)

Andy Stott – Submission (We Stay Together, Modern Love, 2011)

Hoff – To Belong (Hibernate, Handwriting Records, 2012)

After a long hiatus, Dew Crux came back with two new tapes so obviously I was giddy with excitement. They’ve put out some great releases in the past (Skull Mansions and C.S.B tapes, among others) so I was eager to hear what new sounds they’d offer me. Culver I knew, but KNYF is a new one to me. Turns out they’re both fantastic.

 

CULVER

Culver – Sugar Fall
Culver gives us two slabs of low end rumble and void exploration. Those who’ve encountered this legend of the UK noise/drone underground before will know what to expect. Those who haven’t, you’re in for a treat (maybe you’ll see it that way). One side is pure low end rumble. Barley recognisable as anything other than melted down grey landscape. Super minimal. On the flip side there’s a little more movement and a different feel altogether. Opening up with soft, gentle loops that slowly get overcome by a heavy wave of hiss and static. These sounds still appear as faint whispers hidden behind a wall of rich, murky sludge. Heavy as hell and wondrous on the ears.

 

 

KNYF

KNYF-KNYF
The next tape is a debut release of KNYF which is Thomas O’Hopkin of Newcastle noise punks Foot Hair. Here’s another exploration of the dark recess of sounds and decay. Wrecked loops, burnt out guitars lines and massive waves of dark fuzz. Let the sharp noise pass through you and you are overcome by a calming sense of solitude. The slow repetition of hidden sounds feels like a true comfort, a real chance to cut of from everything. The tape is a mix between persistent static mess and the laid back rumblings of lost sounds. A fantastic debut release and a project of which I’m eager to hear more from.

Both tapes out now on Dew Crux. I suggested buying both tapes and as much of the back catalogue as possible as it’s all excellent.

 

Unknown Surroundings

Time flies etc. Seems like the weeks are rushing past as now I have another instalment of Unknown Surroundings for your ears. As always, there’s plenty of weird sounds and heavy drones to keep your brain juices flowing. I must point out, that Jazzfinger track is one of my all time favourite pieces of music. Every time I listen to it I get pulled into a world of decaying beauty. Simply fantastic. Enjoy.

Unknowing Surroundings #3 is being broadcast Tuesday 20th @ 2300 and Saturday 24th @ 1700. Repeated at the same times next week.

Basic.FM

Black Thread – Stay (Stay/Vale, Turmeric Magnitudes, 2014)

Jazzfinger – Freedom of Pollen (King Murnam, JK Tapes, 2008)

Torn birch – Blood In (Effigy, VAALD, 2013)

Ben Fleury Steiner – White Embers (The Places That Find You, Low Point, 2011)

Sindre Bjerga – Carved In Glue (Sinking Slowly, Dissolving Quietly, Foxglove, 2005)

Wanda Group – We Do Not Care (Get Involved In My Throat, Umbro G, 2012)

Ryan Huber – Track 3 (Abiff’s Gaze, Self Released, 2014)

Hex – _____ (III, Self Released, 2013)

KNYF – Freeze (KNYF, Dew Crux, 2014)

Unknown Surroundings

Unknown Surroundings episode 2 airing on basic.fm tonight at 1700.

Trans/Human – Whistle (The(UN)Expected, The Audacious Art Experiment, 2014)

Wölfbait – Streets of Fire (A Veil Of Phosphorous Rot, Self Released, 2013)
Synek – Fathom (Paradiba EP, Rano, 2012)
Secret Pyramid – Closer (Movements of Night, Students of Decay, 2013)
Maëror Tri- Part 4 (Hypnotikum II, Poeta Negra/absurd, 1998)
Yellow Swans With John Wiese – Evicted CDR (Portable Dunes, Helicopter, 2009)
Bridget Hayden – Breaking (A Siren Blares In An Indifferent Ocean, (K-RAA-K)³, 2011)
Dhow – Act of Grace (Dhow, Inam Records, 2013)

 

 

Unknown Surroundings

It’s been a while but I’m back with good news. Those lovely folk over at basic.fm have been kind enough to grant me air time on their excellent little station. Tune in every Tuesday @ 2300 and every Saturday @ 1700 for all you noise/ambient/abstract sound needs. Often it will be loud, sometimes it will be subdued but I can guarantee that it’ll always be strange, intriguing and mind melting. For me, this will be a chance to look through my music collection and share some gems that I’ve in the past as well as highlighting the bestir in current underground musical output.

The first episode of Unknown Surroundings airs tonight (Tuesday 22nd April) and will feature tracks by Enfer Boreal, A.M/Uton, Skull Mansions, Soon and Tsone.

New episodes will air every fortnight and will be on hour in length. I’ll get back to collecting sounds for the next show. Until then, enjoy the weird.

Unknown Surroundings

Basic.Fm

 

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It’s nice to be pleasantly surprised by a piece of music, even more so if it inspires you. The new release from Trans/Human is such a piece. It’s been on heavy repeat since I first caught wind of it and I’ve been trying to dissect it and learn from the noisy glory.

At first you’d be forgiven for thinking you’re listening to something else. A stray radio broadcast of old country americana starts off the first track amidst a wave of static hiss. This hiss soon takes over and stays with us for the duration. Dings and chimes, tapes and fuzz all interweave into this strange melting pot of aural goodness. At times we have gentle, meditative repetition which calms and soothes your mind into a false sense of security then,  without warning, swathes of radio static and glorious feedback belt out the speakers in a thick warm hue. Within these scenes are lone radio broadcasts, seemingly lost in the static void only to find refuge at this certain point in time. There’s something strange going on here. There’s a new world being create, one full of abstraction and obscurity. It feels uneasy and frightening, but it’s almost intriguing and I want to delve deeper into the recess to find what truly lies beyond. I’m going in for another listen.

 

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Penned as a sculptural performance, this record is the attempt to transpose the art of live performance into a studio space. A very personal record that gives you some sort of insight into the strange minds that create this wondrous dirge. Repeated listens and full concentration are the ideal listening scenarios for this record to give you maximum pleasure.

The (UN)Expected  is out 7th March on The Audacious Art Experiment.

http://www.theaudaciousartexperiment.com

BIN

January 31, 2014

BIN

Here’s some new filthy, sludgy noise from Newcastle with members of Foot Hair/Khunnt/Haikai No Ku/PigsPigsPigsPigsPigsPigsPigs. I’m actually surprised that the infamous Mike Vest doesn’t feature on this one. Blood curdling screams and slow, heavy guitars hidden behind a mammoth wall of tape hiss. It sounds like I’m listening to it through a tin can phone with the rusty edge scraping away at my skin. ‘Edgelands’ and ‘Treat’ use slow and super heavy guitar crunch to push your speakers and ears to their absolute limits. On the other hand, ‘Mainline’ and ‘club’ are two heavy as hell, fist in the air, chunks of noisy punk that punch you straight in the face while simultaneously making you put holes in the floor due to excessive foot tapping. Maximalist guitars feeding back straight into your brain in the lowest fidelity possible. Beautiful noise.

BIN are playing their debut gig at Leave Me Here’s second all day event in Newcastle on 4th May. Be there.

Dhow – S/T

January 17, 2014

dhowst

No idea where this came from. Can’t remember how I stumbled across it, but it sounds incredible. Rich, dense drones covering gentle guitars and heavy, industrial drums. A placid wave of noise flows over the entire record, bringing itself to the forefront whilst still letting other elements seep through. Behind the hiss, there’s some beautifully delicate and repetitive guitar lines mangled in with slow, pulsating drum beats. Sometimes you can hear them surfacing, trying to squeeze through the overwhelming drones, then they disappear again, sunken below the surface. A serene, ambient exterior starts off but then begins to develop and disintegrate into a harsher, more tense feeling as the songs progress. Stark, black and white images spring to mind. Brutalist buildings of the sixties feel somewhat similar as they’re beautiful in their own right but still manage to have a hardened exterior that people tend to feel uncomfortable around. There’s something I find so reassuring and relaxing about it all. Let the noise seep into your brain, let it play out loud while you romanticise straight lined buildings and harsh, concrete exteriors.

Out now on Inam Records.

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Blurred waves of thick, heavy noise. I like most things that can be described that way. Heavy Vibrations From Within The Fuselage by Robin Foster is one of them.

Within the dense layers of grainy fuzz, maximalist noise pours out of the speakers making your brain seep out through your eyes. No time to think about anything else, just let the wave take over your mind and block out any other sense of purpose. Behind the fuzz there’s more fuzz. Guitars feeding back, electronics tripping, all adding to that rich mess that we love so much. Every dial turned well past 11 to give us a mind melting trip through this wonderfully heady forest of noise. I’d love to think this was actually made in the fuselage of an aircraft. Electronic noise reverberating around an industrial shell. Perfect music for that rise and shine, blow the cobwebs out of your head type morning.

Available as a limited edition CDr and D/L via Megawhat Recordings.