Surprise! First Post of the New Year! Industrial/Noise Edition!
I hope your holidays, or whatever you may celebrate or choose not to, were fantastic. I, for one, don’t usually enjoy this time of year, the foremost reason being that it is simply a sensory overload (and another is something fucked always seems to happen around this time…this year was boiling water on my foot [CAUTION: link to a picture that is a bit gross]). Christmas music annoys me, figuring out what to get people (though I do enjoy finding the perfect thing), and the barrage of stories regarding people freaking out over sales. Thanksgiving I can get behind, for the most part, as it is simply a day to drink and eat.
Traveling via car to different parts of the country to visit loved/liked ones is also a plus. Returning from South Carolina back home to Chicago the scenery was simply breathtaking, that is until later when you get to northern Indiana. Gah. It is no wonder everyone does meth and gets pregnant as there is little else to do except for buying guns and fireworks. A few hours prior we stopped a few times along the bourbon trail in Kentucky to visit the Wild Turkey distillery and then a run down resale shop to pick up a knife. Definitely the highlight of the drive.
For Christmas I got to visit Memphis for the first time ever as I had only been through on my way to and from Texas. I have a much better understanding and respect for the city after seeing a few cool things including, but not limited to:
- The Peabody Hotel in downtown to see the ducks that live there.
- Driving past Sun Studios a few times, though we didn’t get to go in.
- Eating Memphis Bar-B-Que at Corky’s. Mercy.
- Attend a gun show simply as a sociological experiment. Living fuck was it ever scary.
In this new year I have spent a little time listening to a few genres that I have never really focused much time on. Some old-timey jazz, a little electronic, and early industrial/noise/ambient, which is what I will be focusing on here.
Zone was started in 1988 by Andrew Cadmore (still composing and engineering to this day) and Brian Brandrick in the UK. This, their first release, Sword of the Sun, reeks of Cale and early Eno at first but after repeat listens the comparison to John Carpenter soundtracks (mostly Halloween, They Live, and Christine) is apparent. Later artists such as Ben Frost and Tim Hecker owe a lot to these fellas. This is the perfect unwind album, and also a build up to these next few which are a bit more grating.
Upon finding this album, Five Minutes After I Die, I was instantly enthralled at this band, Blackhouse. Upon further study I discovered not only are they still around to this day (having just released Thirty in 30 just last year) but they are (gasp!) Christian. Sure, I have heard of Christian versions of everything (including the nausea-inducing genre White Metal, also known as Unblack Metal) but Blackhouse stand alone in my humble opinion. Some have even cited them as some of the first doing music of the sort having started in 1984 (though there are many in the post-punk world playing with a lot of the same sounds prior to this, like Throbbing Gristle, Suicide, and even the closely named Whitehouse) but due to the Christian overtones (the lyrics are sparse but his beliefs are well known in interviews) it seemed to be a bit suppresed over the years. Christian or not (I rarely care, myself, as long as talent and originality are involved) this has been one of my favorite finds in the past few months. Two tracks of substantial length make up this foray into a singular darkness.
BONUS: Here is the 1984 album Hope Like a Candle. Like it or not, it is forward thinking for the time.
As little information is available about this next band, Tasaday, I know it is named after a tribe of 25 or so hunter-gatherers in the Philippines. So here is what Discogs has to say:
Experimental/noise/tribal/postrock/industrial group from Brianza, Italy. Active since 1982 and formed from two bands named Die Form (2) & Orgasmo Negato, later called Nulla Iperreale; the band chose the definitive name Tasaday in 1984. In the 80s they had many live performances, published fanzines, 3 LPs, a unknown number of cassettes and many radio transmissions. In the 90s they had some peformances, one CD and other stuff.
It is a bit more tribal (see what I did there?) and grating than the others but just as enjoyable.
I have saved the one with the sharpest edges (or some may say the most unlistenable) for last. I love a good cringe-worthy release and this dude, Arcane Device aka David Lee Myers, definitely fits. Having worked with one of my favorite fucked up dudes Asmus Tietchens (1993’s DBL_FDBK and 1996’s Speiseleitung) I kinda knew what I was getting into before playing Improvisations for Feedback EP (released in 1988 as a double 7″). Organic sounds completely fucked and then cooked, mixed, and vomited out, these four little ditties are sure to get those annoying people out of your house.