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Welcome to the latest instalment of the Local Live and Underground list for Q2 of 2022. For the uninitiated, this recurring feature arrives at the regular quarterly interval, and provides an overview of new music of the live, local, and underground format.
In this edition, we’ve got some heavy hitters nestled in amongst some first timers on the website. There’s a new release from the mighty SWANS (albeit, of suspicious origins – more below); new albums from regularly featured artists such as Kollaps and Aidan Baker; new music from industrial and experimental legends; as well as some local releases that should absolutely be on your radar.
If you’re in the market for noise, doom, drone, industrial, experimental, and punishing varieties of eccentric outbursts, then look no further…
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Michael Berdan: The Demon
Viviankrist + La Furnasetta: Noise For All Genders
La Furnasetta is an artist I’d “seen around”, but had never managed to lock down. Viviankrist is new altogether. But the two have teamed up for a split release of lo-fi power electronics.
Tracks 1-4 let the Oslo-based Viviankrist introduce the record, and they do with a range of dark and occasionally dance-able tunes. A constant haze overshadows these tracks, as well as some of the bleeps and bloops we’re used to round these ways.
La Furnasetta takes on the latter half of the album, though the range of music on offer is far more eclectic than insinuated by the sharpness and clarity of the opening. Darkwave infused techno appears on “Born Again”. A Nico inspired gothic organ dirge from the crypt arises on “Via Broletto”. And a whole bunch of smashes, beats, and full-bodied industrial noise make track length appearances throughout the Italian noise-maker’s tracks.
Logic Lost: “Learn Nothing”
Swans – Fifteen Steps (Live, San Francisco ’86)
Witches of Malibu: “K.O.L.S.D.”
Harmony of Struggle – Tearing Your Mind to Pieces
No stranger to the pages of Discipline Mag, Harmony of Struggle is another project of Poland’s Michał Kiełbasa. With more projects you can shake a stick at, the ardent industrial practitioner operates in every corner of industrial, from neo-folk to noise, but is perhaps best known for his mainstay industrial metal project, Whalesong.
Harmony of Struggle continues to hold the line of industrialism with its grating lo-fi power electronics and pulsing industrial feedback. Submerged vocals struggle for air or even clarity with more than a hint of Genocide Organ seeping through.
Despite being one of many projects that operate in seperate fields, it still remains distinctive from many of Kiełbasa’s other projects. Reinventing the wheel, this is not, but creating consistency in a musical realm that’s susceptible to mediocrity, this absolutely is.
Caleb Joyce: Aqueous State
Hailing from Melbourne, Caleb Joyce is a somewhat overlooked but rather prolific drone artist (consult his Bandcamp if you’d like to go further down the rabbit hole).
On Aqueous State, the sounds on this record maintain a symbiotic relationship with that of a body of water. It flows, it weaves, it rises and it falls. Sounds often start from the minimal, and seamlessly build into ringing drones that engulf the listener in contemplative ambience. “Dripping On The Concrete” achieves this particularly well.
On the inspiration and sentiment of the record, Joyce had the following to say:
“Seeing how water makes its way in the world as the central source of everything we have, how it can sometimes be the worst thing in your life, how it’s slowly disappearing with no replacement, all you can do is wonder and hope sometimes.“
Mixing everything with nothingness, Aqueous State is a deeply contemplative and immersive record. It’s a wondrous and ever-flowing journey that expands outwards into profound and undefinable realms. Its cinematic quality wouldn’t make this out of place while scoring a museum exhibition or slow motion nature shots in a documentary.
Michał Kiełbasa + Aleksander Papierz: Movements
If the name Michał Kiełbasa looks familiar, well, that’s because you just read about him above (I told you he has a lot of projects). In this instance, he doesn’t get all of the lime light as he has teamed up with Aleksander Papierz for this collaborative release.
Background information on Papierz is less forthcoming, but I can confirm he’s a practitioner of brass and involved in the jazz community, presumably in a more “free jazz” capacity.
Here on Movements, we’ve got four tracks (“Movements…” 1 through 4) where the two unleash the tools of their trade upon one another. Kielbasa on MS-20 and modular synths, and Papierz on saxophone and effects.
Rather than flat-out cacophony (as no doubt some would have imagined), there is a strong sense of flow to this record. There are rises and falls, as well as drone and some more abrasive moments. Overwhelmingly, it’s the way that the two manage to weave in and out of the other’s sonic space without overshadowing that is the most endearing quality of this record.
Cinemartyr: OPT OUT
Punchy, playful, and with an unrivalled bass rumble, Cinemartyr have come out swinging with their latest album, OPT OUT.
Originating in Limerick, Ireland (the former murder capital of Europe, no less), but relocating to New York City, Cinemartyr is the brainchild of Shane Herrington. If moving to NYC was intended to relieve Herrington’s stress levels, going off this album alone, it doesn’t seem to have worked.
The pummelling uneasiness of OPT OUT is palpable. It’s music that afflicts the listener through the magnitude of its instruments and unpredictable noise rock/math rock tendencies. With the instrumentation often taking on percussive qualities, and operating under a mantra of “The body dictates the note,” these thick slabs of sound hit right in the gut.
From the industrial thumping of “Art Forum”, the spoken word insanity of “Cancellation Policy”, and the rising keys and and ambience of final track “Water Graphics”, there’s an unmissable sense of tension throughout the record. OPT OUT is like a bureaucratic nightmare that’s so insufferably suffocating, the only option left is to beat your way out.
The Lord: Forest Nocturne
The Lord is none other than Greg Anderson of Sunn O))) fame. Forest Nocturne marks his first solo release, though with a familiar voice, Atilla Csihar, in-tow.
Forest Nocturne oozes with the kind of dense, inescapable riffs you’d expect from a man of such credentials. The riffs expand into remarkably heavy territory and mushroom into cinematic spectacles that are as satisfying as they are hypnotising.
Riddled with old school death metal worship, gothic inspired organ, and closing out with Atilla Csihar’s gurgling vocals on final track, “Triumph of the Oak,” overlook this record at your own peril.
Kollaps: Until the Day I Die
Until the Day I Die is the latest record from Melbourne-turned-European post-industrial act, Kollaps. Reviewed in full, Discipline Mag had the following to say:
An album of dread and atonement. Of passion and compulsion. Of opiate affliction and energy. Until The Day I Die harkens back to a time when the outsiders were condemned to pave their own way through grit and determination. Not to feel for a trail left by others, then cry when lost.
Without fear of hyperbole, this is the strongest work of Kollaps to date. Until The Day I Die proves that perseverance and commitment, combined with a healthy dose of pain and misery, can and do yield results.
Aidan Baker: Tenebrist
Aidan Baker is one half of drone/sludge/shoegaze band, Nadja. Aside from working with Nadja, Baker also maintains an impressively well-stocked Bandcamp of solo releases (discussed in detail in this recent Nadja interview with Discipline Mag).
For the most part, Tenebrist settles into fairly rhythmic kind of post-rock riffs… and then processes the hell out of them. The front end of the sounds have all the necessary qualities required to soar – repetitive and off-kilter riffs, disregard for standardised time signatures, and and seemingly sporadic drum beats. But it’s the low end that prevents these sounds from finding orbit – anchoring these tracks to the ground and dragging them across the asphalt in a blissful rumble of static and feedback. Nice.
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