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Thursday, November 6, 2014

Wounds of the Earth Compilation 6

We are extremely proud to announce the release of our 6th compilation! Once again are honored to feature many brilliant artists from top notch labels including Cold Meat Industry, Cyclic Law, Malignant, Tympanik, Hymen, Ad Noiseam, Old Europa Cafe, Cryo Chamber, and more.


Part I (IDM)

1. Flint Glass - Talawaitichqua
2. Displacer & Nimon - Cloud Forest
3. Roel Funcken - Mesosphere
4. Huron - Disrupt The Standard
5. Hotaru Bay - Herbstgedanken

Part II (Dark Ambient)

6. Havan - Vasatya
7. Apocryphos - A Lonely Structure In Ithaca Chasma
8. Asbaar - Forgotten Equinox
9. Shrine - Sulphur Heart
10. TeHÔM - The World Ended
11. Paranoia Inducta - Apokatastasis
12. Worms of the Earth - Path Of Samekh
13. Anatomia De Vanitats - Ratio
14. Atrium Carceri - Bastard
15. Skadi - Scourged Soul
16. Cryobiosis - The Faceless
17. Sabled Sun - Home Planet
18. Eldar - Numen

Part III (Death Industrial)

19. The Vomit Arsonist - Upon The Floor
20. Steel Hook Prostheses - Sick Teeth
21. Darkrad - Izvergi
22. Aderlating - Gaze Of The Immortal Serpent
23. Theologian - Our Pain Is Hopefully Finite

[ mp3 320kbps ]
   [ bandcamp ]

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Statiqbloom on tour with Corrections House

Neo old school industrial project Statiqbloom will be joining the Neurot Recordings industrial/experimental/doom supergroup Corrections House (members of Neurosis, Eyehategod, Yakuza, etc) for their US tour.

Displacer releases 3 new albums

Displacer released 3 new albums this Halloween through his label Crime League.

The first is an 8 track EP of original music titled Electric Dreams

The second is a 19 track compilation of remixes he has done over the years. This includes remixes of Beefcake,, Known Rebel, Lucidstatic, L'Ombre, Converter and more.

The third release is a 20 track remix album of other artists remixing his work. This includes remixes by (Ghost), Prospero, Talvekoidik, S:cage, The Gnome, Worms of the Earth, and more.

Check them out: [ Crime League ]

Tonikom - "Seeking the Lost Mind"

Artist: Tonikom
Album: Seeking the Lost Mind
Year: 2014
Label: Hymen
Genre: Downtempo, Breakbeat, IDM

Tonikom returns once again with more of her patented downtempo breakbeats littered with beautiful melodies and bits of IDM flavor. This is her 4th record on Hymen, and easily my favorite thing she has released.

After a short intro, the album kicks in with "Dark Hand" which sets the tone for the record. On Seeking The Lost Mind Tonikom crafts excellent, dreamy songs full of floating melodies atop steady breakbeats with the occasional bout of glitching and IDM flourish. It gives me a sort of retro future spaceship vibe. The style brings to mind her German contemporary Angina P, as well as the older, more illusory sound of acts like Mouse on Mars. I couldn't get into The Sniper's Veil that much because I felt like the songs all sounded too similar; however the tracks have much stronger identities and increased variation between them. There is definitely a specific sound that runs through the entire record, though the songs can easily be discerned from one another. "Nocturnal" and "The Narrowing Path" are both great pieces that continue this dreamy spaceship mood through interstellar pads, catchy melodies and steady breakbeats with a bit of glitching sprinkled in. "Kokoro" flirts with an album Burial-esque chilled out vibe, but with stronger weightier drums. "The Cavern" has something of subterranean vibe with it's heavily reverbed plucked melody and everpresent droning pad. It's also got a solid driving beat which sounds like halftime drum and bass complete with that tinny dnb snare. "Drowning Again" has very fast paced drill n bass drums juxtaposed with slow, airy pads. The album ends with "Tebanasou" which has a sleek, darkened futuristic city vibe and some neat vocal bits sporadically placed throughout.

An excellent record to put on and chill out to. One of those that zips by quickly and when it's over you think "wow, this can't be over already can it?". Like I said previously, this is my favorite thing that Tonikom has released. Overall the melodic content on each track is stellar and captivating. The percussion can feel dense at times, but it never overwhelms the other elements and everything remains in balance. Definitely something to get for fans of the more subdued side of Hymen and IDM. If you're looking for upbeat songs, dense drums, and synths that fit one or more categories: airy/dreamy/nostaligic/futuristic, than check this out for sure.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Bisclaveret - "Theu Anagonsis"

Artist: Bisclaveret
Album: Theu Anagnosis
Year: 2014
Label: Zoharum / Steinklang Industries
Genre: Dark Ambient

Bisclaveret is another band whose name I have seen many times over the years but unfortunately haven't gotten around to checking out. As such, Theu Anagnosis is my first experience with the act, and I'm rather impressed. This is a joint release from Zoharum and Steinklang Industries and is available on both CD and vinyl.

I suppose this would be filed under the "dark ambient" tag, though it's different than what I would expect if someone were to tell me "hey this is a dark ambient release". The first track, "Seven Lands of Happiness", begins with a simple koto melody over waves of pulsating and shifting drones, mixed with subtle, ritualistic vocals. While the melody doesn't change, the underlying bed of drones continually shifts to keep the listeners attention. The production is very clean and, as such, this creates a deep listening experience and draws the listener into its vortex. With the second track the pattern becomes clear: melodic lines (either plucked or piano) over drones and low vocals. The second track is more minimal, only utilizing an ancient sounding piano and vocals. "Three Sacraments" uses a xylophone-esque melody over layers of emotive pads and builds until tribal percussion comes in for the last third of the track. The successive tracks are all generally a variation of the aforementioned; strange and wondrous gothic-tinged acoustic melodies alongside deep reverberating droning textures and arcane vocals. I can't think of much to reference, except perhaps Vortex when the tracks have vocals - though Bisclaveret have much stronger production. The record maintains a constant sound throughout, though each track is different from it's predecessor. Many pieces are purely ambient, though some such as "Humani Sanctus" contain subtle, but effective, rhythmic elements. The album comes to a close with the epic "In the Hospital of Lost Souls" which has an extremely melancholic and sacral vibe to it conjured by the wonderfully dreary pad and heavenly (or perhaps, fallen from heaven) choir combo.
The biggest downside of the album is that it is very short - only 38 minutes in length.

This record is fairly hard to classify. Each track is quite different, though they all operate in a somewhat similar manner and purvey a certain dark, ritualistic tone. If you're interested in deep, ritual dark ambient but want something more active that utilizes instruments & percussion and does not rely purely on droning textures than give this a shot. The strong production values and atypical approach to the genre make this a memorable listening experience for sure.

Fundraiser for Don Hill aka Millipede

The label Signifier is currently running a fundraiser to help IDM artist Millipede (hymen records) battle cancer. Millipede has been featured on several of our compilations. Here is the info from their site:

"Many of us in this community of electronic music fans and musicians have come to know Chicago artist Millipede, otherwise known as Don Hill, as a man of great talent and good nature. It is with great sadness, that we learned today that Don is fighting Stage 4 renal cancer. If anyone can beat this thing, Don can do it. He has the loving support of his amazing wife and three young sons behind him and a community of people that are holding him up in positive thoughts and love. We feel compelled to help in some small way and, with the family's permission, are announcing that 50% of the proceeds from all Signifier sales from this point until further notice will go toward a fund for Don and his family to use to help with medical bills, pay for outings for the kids to help keep everyone as sane as possible during this battle, or whatever else it is that the family needs to get through this time."

More information on the fundraiser and the Signifer distro: [ here ]

To my knowledge, Ant Zen/Hymen is running a similar deal where all proceeds of Millipede albums are going directly to Don himself.

Tympanik releases Emerging Organisms 5

Tympanik Audio has released the 5th edition of their Emerging Organisms compilations. These are always must haves for fans of IDM, Post-industrial, and related music. As per usual, it features a number of talents from their own roster as well as many from equally prestigious related labels, including Dreissk, Atiq & EnK, The_Empath, Roel Funcken, Ginormous, Frank Riggio, Blamstrain, Zinovia,, Miktek, and many others. Available in 2xCD or digital.

[ get it here ]

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Empusae - "Rutsu No Hoyo"

Artist: Empusae
Album: Rutsu No Hoyo
Year: 2014
Label: Ant Zen
Genre: Ambient, Industrial, Experimental

Rutsu No Hoyo is a live album comprised of 7 tracks of Empusae's recent work. The press release simply states that this is a "truly fine collection of live recordings made in 2012 and 2013", so I'm not sure if this was from a specific date (some songs run into one another, but others don't appear to) or is even a representative set list. I'm not a fan of live albums as I don't see the point since many electronic acts don't differ all that much from the cd (which means you basically get the CD tracks with crappier sound quality), so personally I would look at this more as a sampler of his last few albums.

I'm not sure how representative of an actual Empusae live show this is, but this set seems to do a fine job of conveying the breadth of Empusae's work, which in itself is quite varied, - with tracks going between captivating ambient; haunting, regal medieval; and shadowy ancient asian vibes. It opens with "Second Ornament" which is from his collaboration with Shinkiro. I liked that album quite a bit and this is a fine track to open with. It's a long, deep ambient ride and although the backbone of the track comes from droning textures, there are many subtle things happening throughout to give it unique character. There is some buried tribal-esque percussion which helps push it along. Next up is the 14 minute piece "Sphere Des Bois" from Sphere From The Woods. I don't know how to classify this one. Strange, floating downtempo with asian melodies from what sound like traditional instruments. Around 7 minutes in some plodding semi-martial drums kick in and significantly enhance the track. In a live setting, I think this could have done with about 5 minutes less of the beginning and instead cut right to the meat. It's a good track and I do enjoy it, but I think the live cut should've been about half as long. Following that we have "Seven Types of Ambiguity", his collab with Nick Grey from Symbiosis. This is a great track from an equally impressive album; it is more neo-classical with a kind of gothic castle parlor vibe. Very sad and mystical textures. Again, after a few minutes some percussion kicks in which brings everything together (I don't believe this was in the original, but I could be wrong). The next two tracks are from the Spectres vinyl on SEALT. This was a very limited pressing, so Rutsu No Hoyo may be a good place to check out these tracks for fans who don't do vinyl. "Quantum Daimon" is another hard to define piece that consists of downtempo, organic electronics with asian influence. This sounds like a an aged painting of a foggy ancient mountain path in the far east. I've never heard this before but it's probably my favorite on this album. Would love to hear this in an immersive live setting. Conversely, "Consanguinous Pain" is probably the track I like least. This one is quite noisy and abrasive, and the poor sound quality makes it sound rather muddy. There are some nice pads and what sounds like guitar(?) plucked melodies, but I feel there is a good amount of content that gets lost. I think a studio recording of this would sound quite excellent, but this version doesn't do it for me. "Dirge" is similar - epic pads over top of what are probably great melodic elements (if you could actually hear them); forceful, pounding drums; and droning noise, but unfortunately poor sound quality makes this sound very muddy and claustrophobic with the feedback-y droning noise overtaking more ground than it should. The album closes with "One and the Same" which is his collab with Ordo Rosarius Equilibrio. Unfortunately (or fortunately if you don't like Thomas Pettersson's voice), Ordo does not seem to appear on this version and it is more or less instrumental. There are a few instances where it sounds like there are some low vocals but they are difficult to discern (which isn't really a problem as they just come off as sounds among a palette rather than specifically "vocals"). This is a great and highly emotive track which can fully stand on it's own without an upfront voice, and it's actually quite wonderful to hear. Similar to "Seven Types of Ambiguity", this carries a sort of an unsettling gothic parlor vibe to it.

This is an interesting collection of live tracks. The track selection and order is quite good and I feel that it would be lend itself to a solid show. However, as is unfortunately the case with many live albums, the sound quality isn't as good as a studio album. So basically, the bottom line is that Rutsu No Hoyo has some interesting, different versions of 7 good Empusae songs, but the sound quality is worse than the CD versions. In my opinion they should've just released studio quality recordings of the "live version" of these tracks which would have given the same effect but with better, fuller quality. Either way, if live recordings interest you and you are a fan of Empusae than you should check this out.

Monday, October 27, 2014

HozmOz- "Fading Mechanisms"

Artist: HosmOz
Album: Fading Mechanisms
Year: 2014
Label: Bedroom Research
Genre: Glitch, IDM

I was really excited to finally get a full length from this guy. I loved his Vulva EP and felt like he was one of the few new IDM/glitch artists alongside Richard Devine, Vaetxh, Roel Funcken and a few others who are really pushing the genre and making next level stuff. Fading Mechanisms delivers what I expected and is a solid offering in the world of glitchy, super complex IDM.

Like I expressed above, I would put HosmOz in the same category as guys like Devine and Vaetxh, however I enjoy his stuff a bit more because I feel that it is more musical. I can't say that it's more structured, as it's totally amorphous and constantly mutates and shifts throughout the duration of each track, but it does carry somewhat certain persist elements such as steady kick & snare beats which provide groove and some semblance of direction. There are also a decent amount of pads, melodies, and such normal musical elements. Some of the tracks, such as the aptly titled "Devine Samples" (guess he sampled Devine? Probably could have thought of a better title...) have FM style synth bits and pads, whereas others like "Psaranih" and "Remajak" utilize squelchy acid lines and feel more like Luke Vibert on...ready for this...acid. At least this is the kind of stuff I like to listen to on lsd - ultra complex, unpredictable music that your conscious brain can't fully wrap itself around; although on some level the subconscious processes the genius required to construct this music. While most of the album is fairly high BPM and energy, there are times such as "Purple Kurt" where things slow down & open up a bit and there is more focus on pads, reverb, and atmospheric elements. There are 16 tracks here (3 of them remixes) which are all detailed to such an incredible level that I could not begin to break them down into a coherent, succinct review. Suffice to say that Fading Mechanisms contains a plethora of absolutely excellent material fused together by expert craftsmanship. Actually, the artwork pretty much sums it up. This album sounds exactly how the cover looks. Definitely a must get for fans of next level IDM and labels like Warp, Detroit Underground, etc.

Just get it.

Zero Degree - "Stasis"

Artist: Zero Degree
Album: Stasis
Year: 2014
Label: Ant Zen
Genre: Downtempo, IDM

After 3 years, downtempo IDM act Zero Degree returns with the new album Stasis. I was a fan of their first album with Ant Zen which was Probe, and I can't believe it's already been 4 years since that was released. Anyhow, Zero Degree hasn't strayed too much from the path set upon with that album; instead Stasis sees them refining their established sound.

For those unfamiliar with Zero Degree, they write highly atmospheric & hypnotic rhythmic downtempo soundscapes with something of a tribal vibe. Most of the songs are quite long and repetitive, but this is done in way which effectively hypnotizes and captivates the listener.  Stasis opens with "Cocoon" which is immediately recognizable as a Zero Degree track. As I said, not too different from previous work, but a solid continuation thereof. The first thing I notice is that the production is clearer and bigger - everything is clean and spacious which is perfect for this kind of subdued music. Although this track is longer that necessary, I quite enjoy it. The title track is next and this one carries a psytrance sounding bassline with beautiful plucky melodies that swirl around the steady kick drum and rolling hats. Although their tracks are long - this is the shortest one at just over 7 minutes - they do a good job of consistently adding in new elements & moods at intervals to keep the listener engaged. "Beacon" continues on with the somewhat psybient vibe, and this one has little bits, such as the chopped vocals, that remind me of Bluetech. "Distance", further pursuing this mood, also utilizes a great flute-ish pad which really bolsters the ethno vibe; this coupled with their standard plucky delayed melody makes for a very deep and engaging piece. "Parsec", perhaps due in part to the name, gives me a rather retro space faring vibe and I love the beep-y melodies and progression of the song. The only thing I didn't like was the voice sample in the middle where everything drops out and this garbled voice goes on an indistinguishable monologue for too long. The album ends with the 14 minute track "Tides of Time". This one makes me feel like I'm looking at the stars illuminated in night sky above a desert. It's got an interesting juxtaposition of cosmic spatial awareness and terrestrial, tribal energy currents.

As I said with their previous release, this is not a record that I would expect Ant Zen to put out. There is no distortion, crunch or experimental weirdness. Instead, Zero Degree provide excellent hypnotic landscapes for fans of tribal, psybient, and deep techno music. While it doesn't have the technical prowess of acts like Bluetech, E-mantra, or Aes Dana, there is much enjoyment to be found in their more minimal approach. Not the best for active listening, but definitely a great record to put on in the background for conjuring mystical & desert moods. Overall, I quite enjoyed this record and fans of their previous output will certainly appreciate it as well.