Album Of The Year?

Yes it’s that time again……and with it being a very busy year I thought i’d better prepare the long-list early on…..so in no particular order the candidates for this years “Best Of…..” not jazz albums… I’ll whittle it down to a top ten in due course, and I may well include some other ones I have missed and some things in the pipeline which look like they make the list.

There are a couple of very strong front-runners at the moment and after that it all gets a bit difficult…………

  • The Seven Twenty – The Seven Twenty
  • Niche – Heading East
  • Heroin In Tahiti – Sun and Violence
  • Dilly Dally – Sore
  • The Holy Soul – Fortean Times
  • Mammoth Penguins – Hide and Seek
  • The Lancashire Hustlers – What Made Him Run
  • Moff Skellington – Scribnalls
  • Courtney Barnett – Sometimes I Just Sit And Think And Sometimes I Just Think
  • Robert Forster – Songs To Play
  • Bouquet of Dead Crows – Of The Night
  • Dave Graney – Once I Loved The Oceans Roar
  • Monkeys In Love – Take The Biscuit
  • Corrections House – Know How To Carry A Wip
  • Esmerine – Lost Voices
  • Dead Sea Apes – Spectral Domain
  • Moff Skellington – The Corkscrew Tongue
  • Liberez – All Tense Now Lax
  • Vienna Ditto – Circle
  • JD Meatyard – Taking The Asylum
  • Ken Mode – Success
  • Dead to Dying World – Litany
  • Myrkur – M
  • The Creeping Ivies – Your New Favourite Garage Band
  • Ought – Sun Coming Down
  • Big Brave – Au De La
  • The Happy Fallen – Lost and Found
  • Cryin’ Queerwolf – Diva
  • Alif – Aynama -Rtama
  • Dave Graney ‘n’ The Coral Snakes – Night of the Wolverine  (Expanded)
  • ZX+ Don’t Drink The Water
  • Author & Punisher -Melk En Honing
  • Dave Graney & the mistLY – Play mistLY for me – live recordings vol 1
  • Flies On You – Etcetera
  • Brothers of the Sonic Cloth – Brothers of the Sonic Cloth
  • The Go-Betweens – G stands for Go-Betweens : Volume One 1978-1984 (yes I know it’s a box set but it’s too good to ignore)
  • Moff Skellington – The Corduroy Bridge
  • The Fall – Sub Lingual Tablet
  • Minimi Deutsch – Minimi Deutsch
  • Anna Von Hauswolff – The Miraculous
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FASCINATING THINGS : ISSUE 07

 Le Butcherettes  are giving fans an early preview of the music from the trio’s previously mentioned forthcoming album, A Raw Youth (released Sept. 18, via Ipecac Recordings), with a stream of the delightfully titled “They Fuck You Over”….

Brisbane shoegaze duo Forevr (sic) has released their debut EP after recording it in April of this year. The duo  is  Donovan Miller (No Anchor, Roku Music) and Sam George-Allen (Mega Ogre, Low Season).

Demonstration’ is their first recorded material. The four-track EP was recorded live at Tym Guitars in Brisbane, using programmed drums, dense synthesiser and cavernous, shimmering guitar. They wanted to make loud, beautiful music. ‘Demonstration’ is what happened.

Channelling the lush textures of My Bloody Valentine and the romance of the Cocteau Twins, FOREVR have adopted an electronic foundation – drum machines, audio sampling and synth bass – that places them at the forefront of modern shoegaze. ‘Demonstration’ has received praise from music press in Australia and abroad, including Triple J and international radio stations Primal Radio and DKFM. Triple J’s Nat Tencic calls their music “perfect shoegaze” and Primal Radio describes their sound as “sinister decadence”.

‘Demonstration’ is evocative, textural, beautiful and best played loud. The EP is available as a name-your-price download and on black CD, and has just been released as a limited edition gold cassette tape (for mailout this week). A full length album is currently in production.

Ought have announced a new album on Constellation which is released 18 September 2015 and is called ‘Sun Coming Down’. Here is a preview track. Sounds as good as the last one:

Helen is a pop group from Oregon. Liz Harris (vocals/lead guitar), Jed Bindeman (drums/tambourine), Scott Simmons (bass/guitar), and Helen (back up vocals).

Originally started with the intention of being a thrash band, it turned into something else entirely. The Original Faces was recorded over a period of several years in Portland by the band members, their friends Nick, Chris and, largely, Justin Higgins. The record was written together, with some songs based on Liz and Scottʼs demos.

You can hear the first excerpt from the record, which will be released 4th September via kranky, below.

I reviewed the new album from Liberez a couple of weeks back they have uploaded a video of the excellent “419 Chop Your $” from it recently. Release date is 24th July.

IIVII is the new solo project by visual artist, multi-instrumentalist and composer, Josh Graham. Founding member of Red Sparowes and Battle Of Mice, Graham currently plays in A Storm Of Light, and has made appearances with Jarboe, Blood And Time, Tombs, Syndrome, Fallen Black Deer, and Tribes Of Neurot.

On IIVII’s debut “Colony”, Graham focuses on sonically engulfing and moody soundscapes, layered with a science-fiction edge. This approach has allowed Graham to expand upon his sonic body of work and traverse new electronic territory, focusing on the subtle orchestration and manipulation of dense sonic atmospheres.

Depicting a derelict space colony in view of Saturn, the artwork was also completed by Graham, who currently serves as art director to Soundgarden, and has also worked with many bands including, Neurosis, Jesu, Shrinebuilder, Sleep, Vattnet Viskar, and ISIS.

Live shows will fuse guitar, analogue and digital keyboards, cassette loops, and more. Select live performances also welcome multi-instrumentalist Will Lindsay to the mix. Lindsay is a longtime collaborator in A Storm of Light, and his resume includes Indian, Wolves In The Throne Room, Bloodyminded, Lord Mantis, Anatomy Of Habit and more.

Check out a preview on You Tube.

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“GODHUNTER vs. DESTROYER OF LIGHT: Endsville” presents a collection of brand new end-time material from both acts. Additionally, the bands will collaborate on a major widespread tour together, which will see them both playing the East Coast US for the first time.

The release includes twenty minutes of new material and a cover track from each band. Tucson/Vancouver based sludge band, Godhunter, captured the tunes for their platter at WaveLab Studios in Tucson by Dana Fehr (North, Juarez), the newest in a steady line of titles since their 2014-released debut LP, City Of Dust, including their GH/OST:S split LP with Secrets Of The Sky and The Outer Dark collaborative 7” with Amigo The Devil.

The parallel release by Austin-based psychedelic doom outfit, Destroyer of Light, follows the band’s 2012-released self-titled debut album and 2014’s Bizarre Tales Vol. II EP, recorded at Orb Recording Studios in Austin, engineered and mixed by Matt Meli. The entire album was then mastered by James Plotkin.

The two 12” EPs will be united in a gatefold setup on two different colors of vinyl, in addition to a digital release, the cover artwork to feature custom sculpture art by Bestia Dentro and photography by Andrew Weiss. Endsville will see a collaborative release via Battleground Records and Heavy Friends Records on July 28th.

….abstract, experimental, ambient, brittle, glitchy, and evocative.

Artist : Liberez

Title : All Tense Now Lax

Format : Album

Label : Night School Records

Release Date : 24th July 2015

Liberez LSSN031 Packshot

Liberez is British experimental industrial project from Southend-on-Sea. This is their fourth release being preceded by an untitled CDr from 2005 and two full lengths,  The Letter in 2011, and Sane Men Surround in 2013.

There is an impressive array of different sounds across the nine tracks which remind me of,  in equal parts, early Cabaret Voltaire, This Heat, Severed Heads, Throbbing Gristle, Coil and other bands of that ilk. It is abstract, experimental, ambient, brittle, glitchy, and evocative. Various instruments, including guitars, violins, percussion and electronics weave complex patterns to create a rich listening experience. Field recordings and half heard vocals make up a complex, laminal, sound.

Formed in 2003 by recording engineer John Hannon and long term musical collaborator Pete Wilkins, Liberez took their name from the cover art of a French bootleg MC5 7” which demanded ‘Liberez Wayne Kramer!,’ who was incarcerated at the time of release. This early line up (also including Mick Cain on saxophone and Kevin Hutchins on bass) recorded and self-released three CD-r albums in an improvised/montage noise rock style, Liberez 1, Liberez 2 and Paint the Light Black. In 2010, Cumbria-based multi-instrumentalist Tom James Scott met Hannon at the latter’s No Recording Studio in Essex, and soon after relocated to join the Liberez fold, his expansive style and use of space and field recordings bringing about a new direction. Close friend Nina Bosnic was brought in to the line-up on vocals, and consequent recordings based on Bosnic’s texts became the first official Liberez record, The Letter, a vinyl only release on Luke Younger’s (aka Helm) label, Alter.

Up until this point Liberez’s live appearances were seldom, but the four set out to play more live shows outside of their locality. Through connections made in Hannon’s studio, they were able to travel to France, Germany, Spain, Switzerland, The Netherlands, Hungary, Lithuania, Belgium etc while keeping a low public profile. The next record, Sane Men Surround (Savory Days, Alter), incorporated numerous influences from eastern European folk traditions and genres, such as Greek rembetika, Jewish klezmer, and Bosniak sevdah, the music of Bosnic’s hometown Mostar. Scott relocated back to Barrow-in-Furness to focus on his own music, and the line-up proceeded to continue as a three piece, resulting in All Tense Now Lax.

Continuing the blend of folk and drone styles, harsh glitching electronic beats, and 9/4 and 7/8 time signatures with an added emphasis of violin textures, All Tense Now Lax is thematically focused on time, distance, and family connections. The tracks “—Of Blood” and “— Of Milk” are in reference to the heritage of both mother and father, embracing the album’s beginning and ending in their dark, cyclical melodies. The title track is a sombre linear journal of the experiences of Hannon’s father, whom during this period suffered a near fatal head injury, and subsequently spent 18 months in institutional rehabilitation. “Захвална породица” has its origins in the Cyrillic inscription on Bosnic’s grandfather’s headstone, while ‘How Much For Your Brother” is derived from a cut up tape of Bosnic’s first words spoken in English, recorded by her parents when she arrived in England from Bosnia in the early 90’s. “Stop Your Breathing” rolls in on ominous static, and is indicative of a terrible nightmare relived by Bosnic, where she plays out murderous impulses against an unsettling backdrop of ambiguous sonic plumes.

Music of this type can either be tedious and pretentious or, genuinely ground-breaking, this release falls into the latter camp, offering a broad span of impressions from the intense  to the reflective. It does not fit neatly into any genre description other than widely being described as experimental.  I’ve listened to a lot of music of this type and I can honestly say this is one of the more accomplished and innovative examples of the form.

Many thanks to Lauren at Rarely Unable for providing additional information on the group.

Pending the release of the new album you can access its’ predecessor here: