February 14, 2009

covenant were one of my favorite bands as a kid.  i was 12 when i first heard dreams of a cryotank and i was pretty much hooked.  a lot of people told me it was cheesy; well, granted.  so is “lovefool,” and that’s a fucking great song.  not that this band and the cardigans really have anything in common besides being phenomenally symmetrical swedish people making icy, precise pop music.

there’s something about sweden that screams “icy and precise.”

anyway, it was largely because of this band that i started listening to a lot of inferior synthpop, a secret shame that i carry to this day.  i am a complete dork for european music and synthpop in particular, and it’s a side of my musical taste i don’t often show.  seriously, though: there are some real gems out there that are worth hearing.  as for this band in particular i’d recommend europa and united states of mind if you’re just getting acquainted with the band/style.

1994: dreams of a cryotank.
1996: sequencer.
1998: europa.
2000: united states of mind.
2002: northern light.
2006: skyshaper.



June 4, 2007

2007’s finest release thus far. call me biased, but cevin key’s mastery of sound design and beat manipulation far outstrips anyone working in electronic music today; his closest peer is daniel myer (architect, haujobb, et al.), whose lower lip interface album released earlier this year on hymen was the previous titleholder. key founded the seminal industrial band skinny puppy with kevin “nivek ogre” ogilve way back in 1982, and bits of fixer reflect that: there are smears of tape noise, ringmods chittering back and forth, cut-up vocals and a strong rhythmic aesthetic that is immediately recognizable as key without being staid.

the similarities end there, however. originally concieved as a collaborative side-project between key and then-member of skinny puppy dwayne r. goettel (rest in peace), the project did not really take shape until genesis p. orridge took an interest. the end result of those sessions, furnace, remains to this day one of the most psychically disruptive albums i own and enjoy. after the untimely death of goettel, mark spybey of dead voices on air stepped in to help key complete what would be the masterpiece of their early incarnation, the eyes of stanley pain. harsh and uncompromising blasts of noise drifted into sound collage and elaborate beat constructions and threaded their way through throbbing gristle atmospherics; one track even featured the famed gristlebox.

download’s third album (appropriately titled III) found the band drifting away from their noisier aspects; spybey moved on to other projects, including an absolutely incredible ambient/noise collaboration with james plotkin (o.l.d., atomsmasher, phantomsmasher, etc.), and phil western (a.k.a. philth, familiar to subconscious studios fans for penning the b-side to the aDUCK 12″, which contains the last recorded material of dwayne goettel’s career) stepped in. the focus veered toward more complex melodic interaction and disorienting sample manipulation. 2000’s effector continued in this vein, layering on eastern and dub influences that key was concurrently exploring in his platEAU project.

then, for a long time, there was silence. with the exception of a collection of unreleased/unfinished tracks dating from the 1993-1995 period, download appeared to be dead.

no longer.

01 bell ringer
02 zass pie
03 uhm (feat. mark spybey)
04 krakatoa [parts one two three]
05 neuron proper
06 sorcear
07 12 yearsblows
08 starving
09 eruption (feat. otto von schirach)
10 hoorse (feat. databomb & mark spybey)



some sounds bounce for longer than they should, off walls and down alleys long after they should have died away. some sounds ring and ping through subterranean pneumatic tubes down into places they normally would never be heard.

01 bloodstone
02 esther’s
03 keep your distance
04 the killer’s vanilla
05 kitchen sink
06 horsefish
07 foley room
08 big furry head
09 ever falling
10 always
11 straight psyche
12 at the end of the day

click here.

click here.

imagine a world without utopian posturing. imagine hungry knives in all the shadows of your home. imagine yourself red-handed and panting as you rip out your pets’ throats. this is todd.

purity pledge
01 sharon after prom
02 little dipper to squirrel
03 butler’s portion
04 mr. harry
05 sedan
06 hog blood river
07 purity pledge
08 eagle and child
09 miss longhorn speedway
10 jenny
11 you wouldn’t believe me
12 cracker jack asshole

comes to your house
01 salty old queen of the sea
02 a killer grows wings
03 chair fight
04 black skull
05 the knife whisperer
06 council member
07 comes to your house
08 don’t lean on the shovel
09 the horse soldier
10 to do list
11 dallas association of decency
12 shepherdess
13 crank a winch?

click here.

four great points

01 of information & belief
02 the dexterity of luck
03 cut your face
04 doomsday
05 does your heart beat slower
06 lifted bells
07 shadow pugilist
08 air #17

click here.

vitalic, “ok cowboy.”

February 2, 2007


heirs to the throne of daft punk — emphasis on punk. trebly melodic lines warp and weft, hoving into and out of vision between ricking tin snares. machines packed in cocaine. ugly, bubbly, brilliant.

click here.


there are those times, usually during the long months spent sequestered in high windows, on the verge of evening, in the anticipation of snow, where i think that if i tumble over the sill i might never stop falling. i shut my eyes and lean farther out, used to sucking on a cigarette but now with my fingers heedless to my lips. i know i will fall, and wait only for that single bright second when i almost don’t catch myself.

this is an album for those times. listen to it in the dark, lying flat on your back with your head over the edge of the bed. imagine supergiant stars in thrones of invisible radiation and the pitch-dark seas of planets long since abandoned. king-elk stalking alien-bright forests while snow piles down and sticks.

01 rainbow blood
02 stags, aircraft, kings and secretaries
03 palimpsest i
04 chimeras
05 dungeoneering
06 palimpsest ii
07 spring heeled jack flies tonight
08 harmony in blue i
09 harmony in blue ii
10 harmony in blue iii
11 harmony in blue iv
12 radio spiricom
13 whitecaps of white noise i
14 whitecaps of white noise ii
15 blood rainbow

click here.

hex’d, bless’d.

February 2, 2007

you came here for music. you’ll find it. if mine eye offends thee, etc.

i like to talk about the albums i post here. you should leave comments.