• Review: Relative; - Reverse Dying (2012)

    2 Ago 2015, 3:20 de Bloopy

    Burnt out and disillusioned with living to work as a chief risk officer for a multi-national corporation, Joe clears his calendar and books 57 years and 1 month of unpaid leave. He's downloaded just one track of 2012's lauded album, 3 000 000' 00'', and plans to devote the majority of his life to a spiritual immersion in audio. As Joe starts the track playing and serves himself a bowl of popcorn, a look of sheer terror gradually develops over his face. The worst, most unimaginable outcome which he never saw coming has eventuated: he recognizes the track. It's the track he was listening to every week night, as he struggled to fall asleep while stressing about the things he didn't find the time to do that day. It's the track Joe was listening to when his boss talked sternly about his department, as his mind wandered and his feet itched to run away. It's the track he was listening to while he watched YouTube videos of guinea pigs chewing grass. And it's certainly the track he was listening to as he let the bowl of popcorn fall to the floor, grabbing a bottle of pills as he headed out the door to the local bar where there's usually a nu-metal covers band playing.

    Luckily for the rest of us, we have the far less daunting Reverse Dying, the Cliffs Notes for 3 000 000' 00''. After just a minute or two, we're in the thick of an excerpt of what Joe listened to, and we've got a fair idea that we've been trolled. Stop, examine the files, administer palm to face and delete. The 14 hours we'd set aside are swiftly reallocated to something enjoyable. Reverse Dying is trying to sell jewellery to monks. It's for self-indulgent photographers who only view their world through lenses and filters. It's a pissing contest over who can hang the largest mirror in the Louvre. If you like long walks on treadmills, always getting nowhere, then Relative; is for you.


    Note: this review was originally posted on RateYourMusic, but Relative;'s profile there has been mercilessly deleted on account of it not being music by their standards.
  • New John Lithium album/compilation "Archival II" now availble! Free Listen/Download!

    4 Jul 2015, 21:13 de JohnLithium

    Download here: https://lithiumindustries.bandcamp.com/album/archival-ii

    Dark ambient experimental drone and industrial oddities. Great for sleepless nights in the sweltering summer.

    This is the second volume of "Archival", featuring a recently remastered version of the 2011 John Lithium album "Insomnia" (except for the final track, which did not have an original project file or archived resources to make a good remaster from), three compilation tracks from 2011 and 2012 in their unreleased original forms, a number of rarities from 2011 that were never remixed into other tracks/albums, along with a number of recent experiments and expressions from 2015. The purpose of this release is to serve as a time capsule of my musical endeavors, in addition to providing possible glimpses into the future...

  • ONEIDA live in Ravenna

    25 Mar 2015, 13:04 de steerpike

    Thu 19 Mar – Oneida, People of the North
    Thoughts on this show with Oneida supported by People of the North can be read at the Animal My Soul blog.
  • "Fantastic Planetscapes" by mutaHERTZ (ARGREC25) [Jack Hertz / I.v.Martinez]…

    3 Nov 2014, 0:39 de JohnLithium

    mutaHERTZ (Jack Hertz + T.R.I.v.M.)

    Listen/Download here: https://argalirecordsnetlabel.bandcamp.com/album/fantastic-planetscapes

    Just in time for Halloween, Argali Records is proud to release "Fantastic Planetscapes" by mutaHERTZ, which is the collaborative effort of Jack Hertz (jackhertz.com) and I.v.Martinez (http://trivm.bandcamp.com). Also featuring artwork by surrealist photographer/artist Ivan Vaclavik (www.vaclavik.eu), "Fantastic Planetscapes" is a heavy, spaced-out exploration into the depths of the stars, influenced by the 1973 movie "Fantastic Planet" (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fantastic_Planet).

    Inspired by the film's soundtrack by Alain Goraguer and sound effects by Jean Guérin, Jack Hertz created a series of analog synth recording for use in collaborative efforts. These elements were then further remixed and processed by I.v.Martinez into the finished result. Thus the listener is thrust into vast and swiftly evolving soundscapes reminiscent of the vistas of unimaginable alien worlds and the strange intelligence that may populate them. An unsettling, yet meditative experience.

    The Tapegerm page for the "Fantastic Planetscapes", featuring further information and the samples utilized in this project, can be found here (www.tapegerm.com/jack-hertz/projects/9/fantasic-planetscapes). Per the projects stipulation, this album is being released under a Creative Commons license CC BY-NC-SA 3.0 US.

    Music for Draags AND Oms.

    This is ARGREC25.
    This one's for you.
  • A Guide to Dominick Fernow

    3 Sep 2014, 15:12 de loulou311

    Prurient, Vatican Shadow, Christian Cosmos, Machinegun Warfare and the list goes on. In advance of his performance at Red Bull Music Academy 2013, we untangle the many aliases of Dominick Fernow – one of the most exciting noise musicians in the world.

    “That’s my aim: to make you feel something. Even if those feelings are negative or uncomfortable.”

    Dominick Fernow has been making us feel something, making music – or more accurately noise – since 1998. Born in Wisconsin, he spent most of his twenties in New York, and recently relocated to Los Angeles. Across literally hundreds of CD, CD-R, vinyl and cassette releases – many of them on his own Hospital Productions label, many of them made available in tiny editions of less than 50 – he has built up a rabid cult following around the globe. But even as recently as three years ago, he wasn’t someone you’d consider to be of interest to anyone outside of the noise community. So what happened?

    Well, Vatican Shadow happened. It’s an unlikely story: What started out as one of the most obscure outposts of Fernow’s cultural activity has become his most well-known and acclaimed project, exceeding the reach and penetration of even his long-standing, ever-evolving Prurient guise. Vatican Shadow, and the recent Prurient albums Bermuda Drain and Through the Window, address what Fernow identified as “a lack of content, or story” in most techno music. His beats are not an incitement to dance but rather a carrier wave for more interesting, troubling ideas and provocations. “I think raising questions and not providing answers is ultimately the goal,” he says.

    But Prurient and Vatican Shadow are just two of numerous solo and collaborative projects Fernow has been involved in across the course of his career. Running his own label, and favouring the cheap-to-produce medium of cassette, has given Fernow the opportunity to be extraordinarily prolific; to document and disseminate his ideas almost as soon as they come to him. As if that weren’t enough, he’s also released records through Editions Mego, Hydra Head, Blackest Ever Black, Type, Hanson, Harbinger Sound and many other imprints.

    The result is a body of work that is huge, and exciting, but also daunting to the uninitiated. So, in order to help make sense of this sprawling catalogue, most of which is now available digitally, we’ve put together a guide to Fernow’s eight most important and distinctive projects, with three key recordings highlighted for each. In the time it takes you to read it, he will probably have released another four or five albums, so be quick.


    Prurient is Dominick Fernow’s longest-running project, his most personal, and his most adaptable. Originally an outlet for his harsh noise exorcisms and trebly, ear-needling “power electronics” (a term first coined by William Bennett in 1982 to describe Whitehouse’s highly influential brand of sonic terrorism) Prurient has gradually become a more amorphous and open-ended entity.

    The malevolently undulating synthesizer loops of 2006’s Pleasure Ground hinted that there might be more to the project than mind-flaying distortion, but nothing could have prepared fans for 2011’s script-flipping Bermuda Drain LP. Inspired by his time as keyboardist with Cold Cave, and by the hours of European techno that he privately consumed while on tour with them, Bermuda Drain found Fernow expanding his sonic arsenal to incorporate elements of techno, synth pop, minimal wave and expansive industrial music, and presenting the whole with a newfound confidence and clarity; his voice, no longer buried under layers of grot and feedback, took centre-stage, sounding more menacing and tortured than ever before.

    Recent work has explored the space opened up by that landmark album: this year’s Through the Window is swishing, thumping techno noir, custom-made for the LA nightscape that Fernow now calls home (think Prurient does Drive), and Worship Is the Cleansing of the Imagination, a split release with JK Flesh, is all desolate ambient and funereal drum tattoos, more poignant than punishing. Whatever future musical metamorphoses Prurient undergoes, you can be assured that the cathartic, confessional nature of the project will remain constant.

    Key Releases
    The History of Aids (Armageddon / Hospital Productions, 2002)
    Cocaine Death (Hospital Productions, 2008)
    Bermuda Drain (Hydra Head, 2011)


    “Militant religious industrial” is how Fernow described Vatican Shadow when he issued its first tape, Byzantine Private CIA, in 2011, and those three words continue to capture its essence. At its core, Vatican is a tribute to the work of the late Bryn Jones, AKA Muslimgauze, who in the ’80s and ’90s ploughed a similar furrow of murky, dubbed-out electronics and political provocation (in his case acutely pro-Palestine, pro-Islam, anti-West). Fernow’s political stance is more ambiguous, reflecting the tenor of the times. There are no heroes or villains in Vatican Shadow’s post-Gulf War worldview, only players, cyphers: the tapes’ cover art depicts the likes of Hillary Clinton, Saddam Hussein, Nidal Malik Hasan (the “Fort Hood shooter”) and an anonymous Chechen rebel with the same blank indifference, creating a disconcertingly equivocal iconography of the War on Terror era.

    By the start of 2012 Vatican Shadow was already much talked-about and name-dropped, and the project gained further traction over the course of the year with releases/reissues from the likes of Type, Blackest Ever Black and Modern Love; meanwhile a remix by Sandwell District’s Regis of “Church of All Images” consummated Fernow’s love affair with European techno. (Sandwell’s US operative Silent Servant has since released an LP on Hospital Productions.)

    Fernow closed 2012 with the epic 3xLP set It Stands To Conceal, but the debut Vatican Shadow album proper is still to come, due to be released before he packs his Desert Storm fatigues for a headline European tour this summer.

    Key Releases
    Kneel Before Religious Icons (Hospital Productions, 2011)
    Pakistan Military Academy (Hospital Productions, 2011)
    It Stands to Conceal (Hospital Productions, 2012)


    Cold Cave always has been, and always will be, the baby of one man: Wes Eisold. But his close friend Dominick Fernow – with whom he shares an adolescent’s weakness for gothic romanticism and self-loathing – played a significant role in breaking the band, and in shaping its sound; he in turn was influenced by the brief period he spent as one of its members.

    Fernow introduced Cold Cave to the world by releasing their Painted Nails 7-inch on Hospital Productions in 2008, and then joined the band as a touring member in the wake of their breakthrough album release Love Comes Close, playing synth/keyboard and adding an explosive noise dimension to their live shows. It was while on the road with Cold Cave that Fernow became obsessed with Sandwell District, Traversable Wormhole and other practitioners of bleak modern techno, and began to consider how he might incorporate this sound into his own musical practice. Eisold also played in the live incarnation of Prurient during this time, and the two collaborated on Stars Explode, a gloomy minimal-synth workout reminiscent, in parts, of Aphex Twin’s Selected Ambient Works II. With impeccable timing, Fernow left Cold Cave shortly after the release of their rather bloated, over-produced Matador LP, Cherish the Light Years.

    Key Releases
    Cold Cave / Prurient - Stars Explode (Hospital Productions, 2009)
    “Life Magazine” (Prurient Remix) (Matador, 2010)


    Prurience isn’t restricted to, er, Prurient in the Fernow oeuvre; witness the nasty nocturnal emissions of Exploring Jezebel. Fernow is generally sincere to a fault, but Exploring Jezebel is one project where his sly sense of humour comes to the fore: signal titles include Attending UCLA Lecture on Forced Feminization in Prison and My Heart Sank, But My Cock Was More Erect Than Ever Before.

    A sordid celebration and parody of noise’s infatuation with sado-masochism, torture and transgressive sex acts, Exploring Jezebel overturns the genre’s usual delusional misogyny: for once, our male protagonist is a simpering, degraded submissive rather than whip-wielding dominant. The music is a fairly unremarkable collage of static-sheathed machine-drones and curdled voice recordings; it’s not untypical of Fernow to have applied more effort to aesthetic than to sound. “My involvement and interest in noise is actually entirely anti-musical,” he has previously admitted, with palpable pride. “It’s all concept.”

    Key Releases
    Penis Torture Chamber (Hospital Productions, 2010)
    Locking Up the Husband’s Penis Is Not Slavery, But Rather the Greatest Act of Kindness Given to a Man (Hospital Productions, 2008)
    Weltmeister (Hospital Productions, 2012)

    ASH POOL -

    Nihilistic black metal from Fernow and his old friend and regular co-conspirator, Kris Lapke, Ash Pool is battering-ram blast-beats, guttural vocals and in-the-red guitar riffage, recorded in the cruddiest demo quality imaginable, and bound together by imagery fixated with space and creation (references to Saturn, white dwarves and the Big Bang abound). On first encounter there doesn’t seem to be much to distinguish Ash Pool from your average over-conceptualised, under-rehearsed no-fi metal outfit, but prolonged exposure to their feckless onslaught breeds affection.

    The furious, high-velocity First Taste of Power is probably the purest, most potent Ash Pool transmission, but World Turns on Its Hinge and For Which He Plies the Lash are more inviting, owing as much to Black Sabbath and bratty US hardcore as they do to raw Scandinavian Black Metal.

    Key Releases
    First Taste of Power (Unknown label, 2005)
    World Turns on Its Hinge (Paragon Records, 2007)
    For Which He Plies the Lash (Hospital Productions / Tour de Garde, 2010)


    A fascination with religious symbolism and doctrine runs through much of Fernow’s work, perhaps an upshot of his Italian family heritage - but it finds its fullest, most explicit expression in Christian Cosmos, “a soundtrack for the judgment of souls.” Little intervention or exaggeration is required to make Christianity seem strange and sinister; Fernow simply quotes lines from the Bible as track titles (“Behold, a Sower Went Out to Sow,” “To Him Be the Glory Forever, Maker and Judge of All”) and for cover art deploys stark monochrome illustrations that look as though they’ve been culled from a Sunday School textbook.

    The capacious, cathedral-scale music is broadly similar in palette to Vatican Shadow, but the percussion is heavier, and moves at a grave, burdened pace more appropriate to an Easter procession than a military operation. The synth lines, meanwhile, gleam like stained glass windows caught by sunlight – promising redemption, maybe, but more likely damnation.

    Key Releases
    Enthronement by God As the First-Born of the Dead (Hospital Productions, 2011)
    The Sharp Lines That Delineate His Robes (Bed Of Nails, 2012)
    Which Echo Again and Again (Hospital Productions, 2012)


    “Psychedelic Decay,” the title of a track from 2012’s Strawberry Sugar Zeros, perfectly describes the sound, and effect, of Mitochondrial DNA – one of Fernow’s richest, most rewarding “pure” noise endeavours of recent years. You can detect the influence of depressive black metal in its harrowing, primordial churn, but there’s a remarkable spaciousness to the sound that renders it almost meditative. Once discovered, you long to return to again and again. Perhaps that’s what Fernow was alluding to when he described the fabulous Powercrash as “obligation noise.” Digital compilation Mitochondrial DNA Volume 1 collects all of mtDNA’s Hospital tapes to date.

    Key Releases
    Between Another Magic Mushroom (Gods Of Tundra, 2012)
    Powercrash (Hospital Productions, 2012)
    World’s Largest Ink Collection (Hospital Productions, 2012)


    The identity of the person or persons behind Rainforest Spiritual Enslavement is meant to be a secret, but a consensus seems to have been reached that it’s none other than Dominick Fernow (distinctly Fernow-esque titles like Folklore Venom, The Plant with Many Faces and “The Verdict Handed Down by a Kangaroo Court” are perhaps the biggest giveaway).

    Taking witchcraft, superstition and serial murder in Papua New Guinea as its inspiration, RSE’s music ranges from eerie, Vatican Shadow-style beatscapes to darker, ritualistic ambient. Black Magic Cannot Cross Water, an LP recently reissued by the Blackest Ever Black label, simultaneously brings to mind the abyssal invocations of Lustmord, the serpentine synth soundtracks of John Carpenter and Burzum’s compellingly primitive prison recordings.

    Key Releases
    Black Magic Cannot Cross Water (Hospital Productions, 2011)
    Taking Place in the Foyer (Hospital Productions, 2012)
    The Plant With Many Faces / Folklore Venom (Hospital Productions, 2012)
  • (ARGREC23) "An Analysis Of The Past: The Genesis Of Experimental Processes"…

    27 May 2014, 0:09 de JohnLithium

    Download here: https://archive.org/details/ARGREC23

    While our gaze may be firmly set towards the future, it is important at times to indulge in retrospection. After all, without a firm grasp of where we came from and who we once were, we have little to no hope of firmly establishing who we will be and where we will go.

    To assist in this endeavor, Argali Records Netlabel presents "An Analysis Of The Past: The Genesis Of Experimental Processes". For this compilation, we asked experimental musicians to submit to us a track among their earliest recorded experimental output that they were comfortable sharing. In this transaction, this compilation is meant to stimulate retrospection not only among the listeners of the compilation, but the participants themselves. Old chestnuts and diamonds in the rough were recovered from the dusty corners of hard drives and shelves to be allowed their chance to shine.

    Twenty-five bands answered the call, resulting in a massive four-hour collection. Genres include industrial (in a very wide assortment of styles), glitched-out acoustic, ambient, rock-flavored cut-up collages, electronica, atmospheric power electronics, long-form synth improvisations, noise, guitar soundscapes, and (as always it seems with Argali compilations) many permutations, subversion, and mutations of the above-stated genres.

    Featuring tracks by shades of grey on a pink field (Brownian e/motion), Problem Anderer Leute, Beinaheleidenschaftsgegenstand, mhz, Mystified, Rest In Satin Silence, Herr Schmitd Hat Krach, Marvin Ferguson/Luxurious Dagger, Otto V Rhino, Ayn Morgan, Bedawang, Josef Nadek, M.NOMIZED, Dave Fuglewicz, Anastasia Vronski, Earth Concrete, mascara, LaMunyecaAutómata, Dan Miñoza, Miracle Nails, OS125, TOTALITNÝ REŽIM, Jukka-Pekka Kervinen, halluciphile, and Travis Johnson. Also featuring graphic design by John Lithium.

    Music from the past to illuminate the future.
  • Terra Engine: A Dark Place compilation now Available! (Free Download)

    27 Abr 2014, 15:15 de JohnLithium

    Download here: http://lithiumindustries.bandcamp.com/album/a-dark-place

    After several years of inactivity, Terra Engine returns with a final retrospective/compilation, entitled "A Dark Place". Within are a number of tracks from the albums "Power Ambience", "Khvarenah", and "Hive Mind" (here presented for the first time in high-fidelity .WAV format and equivalents), along with a number of recently discovered unreleased archival tracks, all recorded between 2007 and 2008. Although establishing a definite genre for this collection is somewhat difficult, but sounds and themes explored include what was once described as 'power ambience', dub, atmospheric industrial electronica, dark ambient, and other, less easily definable genres as well. In short, this collection is a window in to the past of it's creator, a glimpse of dark, occluded, and yet not devoid completely of light and hope.
  • Deerhoof shine at Transmissions

    22 Mar 2014, 19:44 de steerpike

  • Live Transmissions Day2

    22 Mar 2014, 17:57 de steerpike

    Fri 21 Mar – Transmissions VII - Day 2World music - what it is and who is it for?- review at Animal My Soul
  • Transmissions VII , Ravenna -Day 1

    21 Mar 2014, 17:04 de steerpike