• Vote for Infected Mushroom

    Lug 8 2015, 12:38 di mikesport

  • New John Lithium album/compilation "Archival II" now availble! Free Listen/Download!

    Lug 4 2015, 21:13 di 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...

  • Artist of the Month

    Mar 2 2015, 22:53 di towardsecstasy

  • The most memorable albums of 2014.

    Mag 18 2015, 12:12 di bazzo-182

    I don't know why but each year seems to bring music that is not exactly up to the standards of the previous one. It's either that or it's becoming more and more difficult for me to feel satisfied with what I listen to. Have I heard it all already? Or is the music industry in a state of continuous cultural decline? Maybe it's the increasing lack of my time and patience? Should I stop looking for new music on Pitchfork? Be that as it may, I decided not to name "top" albums this year, but went with "most memorable" instead. I chose to single out 7 albums that stand out, maintain a consistent standard and which I enjoy from start to finish - generally speaking the closer to the end, the better the album. So here's the list of albums that didn't turn out to be completely forgettable:

    Brian Blade & The Fellowship Band - Landmarks
    A decent jazz record from an ensemble led by the Louisiana-born drummer with the title track being a particular highlight of the album.

    Ty Segall - Manipulator
    Here we are regaled with a nifty blend of garage rock and psychedelic pop. Not bad at all. Curious? Try listening to The Singer or The Clock. Sadly, not all the songs are as gripping as those two.

    Bohren & der Club of Gore - Piano Nights
    Since the band's conception, Bohren have have tried to fill a small doom/dark jazz niche and have pretty much been sitting there all by themselves. I don't know any other band which would be stylistically similar (I adore The Kilimanjaro Darkjazz Ensemble, but they are a different tinge of dark). As always, Bohren's tracks blend together perfectly, offering a certain type of delightful decadent mood more than anything else. The German quartet may be considered as one of the less surprising bands around (not necessarily a bad thing), but the truth is Piano Nights is their most peaceful and positive album to date. One can feel they reached their peak somwhere inbetween Sunset Mission and Black Earth, but nevertheless this is yet another great additon to their discography. The more the merrier - how funny it sounds considering the atmosphere Bohren usually weave.

    Sun Kil Moon - Benji
    I don't feel competent enough to try getting into the lyrical side of the album and ponder over how each song is a well-told tragic story - that's for long-time fans of Mark Kozelek to evaluate and elaborate upon. But I will say this: I'm deeply moved each time I hear Richard Ramirez or Pray For Newport. It's all about Kozelek's disillusioned voice and the equally sombre tone of his acoustic guitar. He basically talks over an unchaning guiatr riff and tells you those very personal stories in the most frank way. I rarely listen to acoustic guitar singers nowadays, but I found Kozelek's style and songwriting refreshing and entertaining in the artistic sense. The record is, however, painfully erratic and for me it comes down to four songs (the two mentioned above plus Truck Driver and Dogs). I almost never listen to the album from start to finish - I'm not really impressed with Sun Kil Moon's more positive, nostalgic side (the Mom and Dad songs). Large parts of the album feel mawkish and seem completely uninteresting. In spite of this the record is surely worth checking out.

    Skalpel - Transit
    This might be the first time I mention a Polish artist in my yearly recapitulation! Transit is far from remarkable, but it well deserves my recommendation this year. Skalpel have always leant more towards hip-hop and electronic music than jazz and that's probably why I don't come back to them nearly as often as to Hidden Orchestra or Portico Quartet. Still, this is great when you're in a mood for some jazzy breakbeat sounds that won't disturb you or interrupt the flow of your day. I'd say the album is totally on par with the widely acclaimed debut - slightly more upbeat perhaps. It has that lounge, chillout ambience which is definitely good - I don't remember vibraphone being used in Skalpel's earlier work. Quality stuff.

    The Phantom Band - Strange Friend
    This one should be short because I literally don't know anything about this band besides the fact that they're from Scotland and play rock music. If I had to quickly name some artists who bear a styllistic resemblance to The Phantom Band I would probably fail miserably - the only names that spring to my mind are Django Django, of Montreal and Deerhoof (the experimental shenanigans plus the psych-pop mix of guitars and synths). Strange Friend is indeed strange, but in a good way - it's fresh, unassuming and entertaining. Sadly, it shares some of the flaws of the aforementioned Sun Kil Moon record. I'm yet to be convinced by everything that happens after Doom Patrol (epic guitar riff somewhere halfway through, by the way), the third song of the album. I remain sceptical, but I'll surely reserve my time for the album to grow on me as whole - that's more than what most get these days.


    Spoon - They Want My Soul
    Spoon are a true rarity. They don't feel the need to reinvent themselves every record and surprisingly this works out for them pretty well. Each album is a solid dose of the same, yet it never feels like the ever-present old stuff rehash. Spoon just keep on producing good music and never go below a certain standard. Now, how many artists share a similar trait? I recall praising Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga in 2007 (I was fulsome in my appreciation now that I think of it - the record didn't age that well) and underrating 2010's Transference (their best one I believe, undoubtedly a Top 10 album that year), so as you can see Spoon have often been a companion in my musical journey. I can happily announce that They Want My Soul continuous the trend and will vastly contribute to increasing my Spoon playcount (802 and counting, they've just surpassed the Overall Top 50 mark). The album features less piano than I've come to except from the band and has them experimenting more with the sound (although still within their usual stylistic conventions), but these are definitely not drawbacks. Spoon cement their place as one of the most interesting and mature rock ensembles around and will remain my go-to band whenever I'm in the mood for intelligent and less conventional indie rock entertainment.

    TV on the Radio - Seeds
    After the disappointing Nine Types of Light TVOTR came back last year with a much better release. This doesn't quite top Return To Cookie Mountain, but I would be inclined to agree that this is their best record since 2006. It's basically vintage TVOTR (a little bit more accessible, perhaps) - a mix of art rock and synth-pop. Some pretty good tunes here: Quartz, Careful You and my favourite Lazerray - a worthy successor to their most vigorous hit song Wolf Like Me.

    Todd Terje - It's Album Time
    I'm rarely into strictly electronic music (with chillwave genre being possibly the only exception) and I'm amazed how much I really like this album. Calling Todd Terje the modern Piero Umiliani would probably be far-fetched, but I can't help it how much it reminds me of the latter's To-Day's Sound. It's Album Time is a neat electro-lounge concotion perfect for partying or just chilling out with a tasty beverage in your hand. It's retro and futuristic at the same time. Nu disco? Space disco? Whatever the tag, it does feel as if Todd Terje invented a whole new genre by himself. The album has its flaws - I dislike when Terje strays too far into house areas and I'd call the vocal track a miss, but similarly to Toro y Moi's Causers of This I've found myself coming back to this more often than I would imagine.

    Hans Zimmer - Interstellar
    For those who speak Polish, please refer to my Inception Soundtrack review. It's basically the same story here: Hans Zimmer teams up with Christopher Nolan to produce yet another breathtaking piece of cinematic entertainment. This time however Zimmer is more minimalistic in his approach and rightly so - writing music for a movie which mostly takes place in the outer space requires a subdued, free-flowing compositions rather than rousing, over-the-top arrangements. This obviously does not mean that the soundtrack is missing its emotional charge. The pathos is still there, especially when the script calls for more dramatic instrumentals. All in all, Zimmer delivers once again and his music plays a huge part in the overall Interstellar experience. The soundtrack is quite long (90 minutes) and makes a heavy use of piano, so it may appear as too repetitive at times, but if you found the film to your liking as much as I did that won't bother you at all. If you want to see the movie and hear Zimmer's grandiose work please do yourself a favour and do not download a crappy copy from the Internet. Anything below BluRay quality just won't do and the music deserves much more than just your laptop speakers. On another note: how Gravity gets seven Oscars while Interstellar receives just one is beyond me.

    Afghan Whigs - Do to the Beast
    Last year's most memorable rock/guitar record. Gritty, serious and artistically mature work, but surprisingly radio-friendly at the same time. Dulli makes it happen.

    Snarky Puppy - We Like It Here
    To put it simply: a brilliant jazz fusion record with lots of funk and progressive rock influences. We Like It Here was recorded live, so I guess it is safe to assume that the album features some improvisation, which speaks a lot about the collective's level of musical craftmanship. But don't be mistaken here - this is not art for art's sake, the kind of compulsive, boastful show-off where music isn't actually a part the process - Snarky Puppy are genuinely fun and will satisfy both the sophisticated, seasoned jazz listener and the pop enthusiast who is just looking to have a good time. Not going to Snarky Puppy's concert last year would have been a huge mistake, I surely got my money's worth and believe me - I'm not that easily satisfied. If you consider music a big part of your life, We Like It Here will be an experience you'll cherish.

    A Winged Victory for the Sullen - Atomos
    A clever and engaging interplay of ambient and classical music. Not much use for words here - that's far beyond my area of expertise.

    Top Tracks and Artists according to my stats (as of 31.12.2014):

  • Jimmy Spoon x LBN 667 - Flow (2015) Ultra Vague Recordings

    Mag 13 2015, 10:21 di FudoKazuki

    Jimmy Spoon's third release was written in collaboration with American producer #LBN667. # sounds, tending to and # roughness is a recognisable feature of LBN667. Having combining an unusual singing manner for music and LBN667's textures from beyond, Jimmy Spoon made a mix that is hard to describe. There are some strong emotions in the "Flow", these emotions develop into a solid conceptual story. It's a deep and lyrical yet # work. It takes five tracks to take a listener through various layers and themes such as human relations and parallel worlds. With this record Jimmy got one step closer to his own sounding - nothing is restraining his singing tending to ardor and gothic detachment at the same time. #UltraVague

  • Zastranienie - Release

    Apr 30 2015, 21:09 di zastranienie

  • Maïak creates one of the best post-rock albums of 2015

    Apr 10 2015, 18:56 di Velvetleaf

    Maïak creates one of key post-rock releases of 2015. They created to something big, something to be heard! The album is called “A Very Pleasant Way to Die”.

    Filled with the symbolic weight of a catastrophe that arose as the punishment of man’s guilty arrogance in an outburst remained silent, Maïak delivers a dark and powerful instrumental rock that evolves between tenuous melancholy and chaotic blast. Released by Fluttery Records which usually release amazing post-rock, ambient and modern classical albums.

    This post-rock storm comes from Switzerland. If you haven't heard it yet, here they have “A Very Pleasant Way to Die” on Bandcamp.
  • Sorrow Leads To Salvation - Wound Theory. Act I: Ghost (2015) EP

    Apr 7 2015, 10:14 di FudoKazuki

    «Strongly Recommended!» — Simon Raymonde (Cocteau Twins / Amazing Radio Host)

    After two successful LP’s «Million Years Of Sorrow» and «The End Of Harmony» Ultra Vague Recordings (UVR) is glad to present «Wound Theory. Act I: Ghost», a new release by Sorrow Leads To Salvation, Kiev based electronic project. It’s a first part of a conceptual EP’s series sharing one plot and sounding, yet SLTS keeps looking for new forms for his musical ideas embodiment. The author describes it as a gloomy and melancholic fairytale about dark corners, ghosts and forgotten gods.


    released 31 March 2015

    «Bleib am Kreuzweg stehn
    küsse die Erde, die du besudelt,
    vor der du gesündigt hast
    verneige dich dann vor aller Welt
    sage allen laut:
    Ich bin der Mörder»


    All Music Is Written by Adam Maylow aka Sorrow Leads To Salvation

    Cover art: Alyona Lobanova

    Label: Ultra Vague Recordings
  • 150,000+ plays and some musings

    Mar 1 2015, 22:36 di garynotrashcoug

    The other night, quietly and with very little fanfare I passed 150,000 plays on Last.fm. Pretty much one year from the day that I passed my 100,000 milestone. It's amazing to me to think that I listened to 50,000 tracks in a year, but that's only half the story. That's not including stuff I heard on the radio, live performances, friends playing music when visiting their houses, watching something on youtube which I didn't scrobble, things I heard then deleted from my scrobble history because I hated them so much.... It's amazing how much music fills your life without really trying, much less when you're like me and have music going almost around the clock.

    I love Last.fm and as I've said in the past, it's sort of like "my facebook". Other people let facebook occupy much of their time and it becomes a big part of their lives. Last.fm is like that for me and the very ephemeral nature of the internet makes me worry about what I'll do if it ever disappears. I'll live, certainly and there are far worse things which can go wrong in life, but I suppose it is a dear hobby of mine and a great resource for discovering new music and connecting with other music fans. It also satisfies my oddly exhibitionist nature when it comes to my music collection and listening habits. I can't really explain it, much less understand it but I've always been this way. Music has been a big part of my life since I was very young and I suppose that, combined with whatever twisted miasma lies deep in my psyche causes it to manifest that way.

    I also mull over the fate of Last.fm since it seems like so many longstanding third party developers and website are disappearing. Tools I used to enjoy and often employee in these journal entries such as McKillaboy's badges and lastlabs. These are additonal tools which utilize Last.fm's API and it seems like they just aren't interested or are jumping ship for other reasons. Sure, it costs money to re-register a domain every year, maintain a server, etc, but the fact that they aren't even trying anymore leads me to believe that they may have succumbed to their consensus that Last.fm is dying. There still are a lot of people using this site and a lot of people supporting it (despite all the other users who do nothing but complain). This post in particular hints that Last.fm's developers have "big things" in store on the horizon. Fingers crossed, ever hopeful. I am grateful for the few third party developers who have stuck around, like Last.fm Tools (see below).

    Thank you for reading all of that (if you actually did) and now that I got that off my chest, it's time for some stats! You love stats as much as I do right?

    What I've (mostly) been listening to for the past 12 months:

    Top artists for the past 12 months:
    1. The Legendary Pink Dots
    2. Ween
    3. Beck
    4. David Byrne
    5. UB40
    6. Talking Heads
    7. Spiritualized
    8. 新居昭乃 (Akino Arai)
    9. 大谷幸 (Kow Otani)
    10. Herbie Hancock

    Top tracks for the past 12 months:
    1. The ByrdsYou Ain't Going Nowhere
    2. Bob DylanKnockin' on Heaven's Door
    3. Brian Eno & David ByrneEverything That Happens
    4. Chelsea WolfeWe Hit a Wall
    5. RideDreams Burn Down
    6. RideDecay
    7. The Stone RosesMade of Stone
    8. I Break HorsesDenial
    9. The Stone RosesI Wanna Be Adored
    10. Talking HeadsWarning Sign

    garynotrashcoug's top albums (year) 1. Joy Division - Heart and Soul (235)
    2. Killing Joke - Singles Collection 1979 - 2012 (132)
    3. Ride - Waves (102)
    4. Oingo Boingo - Best O' Boingo (94)
    5. Spacemen 3 - Recurring (90)
    6. Doves - Lost Souls (90)
    7. The Raveonettes - Pretty in Black (90)
    8. Cymande - Cymande (85)
    9. Spiritualized - Pure Phase (84)
    10. Blue Man Group - Audio (84)

    I suppose this type of journal entry is more for my own records, to go back and look at a snapshot from a previous year and see what my listening tastes were like at the time, more than anything else. Thanks for reading and to group leaders still present for letting me spam your journal feed and hey.....at least there's one McKillaboy badge which still works....
  • My favorite new releases in 2014

    Gen 20 2015, 4:42 di garynotrashcoug

    I wrote a rather extensive one for 2013 and I'm a bit late this time, but I'm still getting caught up with all the great music released in 2014. In the meantime, here are my top five so far:

    Goat - Commune: I've heard people say their debut World Music was better, but this was my first encounter with them and I was not disappointed. I've been on a "world psych" kick this past year and this album carries a heavyweight power that just took my breath away.

    Helms Alee - Sleepwalking Sailors: To call them a "power trio" would be an understatement. Sludge hardcore at it's finest. The twin female backing vocals offset the highly aggressive male lead vocals nicely.

    I Break Horses - Chiaroscuro: Just when you think you've heard it all from electronica.... and again, not their debut but my first introduction to them and it didn't fail to amaze me how fresh and original it sounded.

    The Men - Tomorrow's Hits: not everything needs to be groundbreaking or orignial or highly experimental. Sometimes, just putting together a really, really good rock n' roll record is enough. This is that record. Words can't really describe it and aren't really necessary. Great musicianship, great song writing.

    Thievery Corporation - Saudade: the long time bossa nova-influenced Thievery Corporation sets about recording a proper bossa nova album and does so with aplomb. This was inevitable, but I was still surprised and impressed.