Wednesday, December 31, 2008

One(more) Last Final 2008 Post

The scene: an untidy bedroom, full of musical instruments and recording gear. An enormous LCD monitor dominates a black desk by the window. Sitting at the desk, typing a nonsensical comment about Sony on UKResistance is a shaven-headed chap in amusingly large flared trousers and an Arcade Fire hoodie. The camera settles in the middle of the room as the chap turns, looks surprised, and begins to speak.

LORD DAVYDD GRIMM: Oh, hallo, I didn't notice you there! I was busy giggling like an idiot at a picture of a bootleg Chinese Sonic the Hedgehog toothbrush. I imagine you'd like to hear my thoughts on the year?

Well.

Two Thousand and Eight was rubbish. Trufax. Many interesting things failed to happen, many otherwise lovely people revealed themselves to be nought but poltroons, many overhyped videogames failed to deliver and, sadly, only one record truly stood out. Amber Grey.

I waited slavishly for that record. I recall having a link to Studio Grey on my Vampirefreaks profile years and years ago, as I belmed about how they were going to be the saviours of grind, and while I was a little pre-emptive, I was right.


A man. On a tractor. In 2008. Yesterday.


Other things that I wasted my year on included far too much Call of Duty 4, stoned David Lynch marathons, that awesome Gravetemple gig at Supersonic, At The Gates on Rock Band, Tam's pony Parsley and a subversive graffiti campaign in Barrow in Furness that NOBODY NOTICED. Bastards.

Two Thousand and Nine looks a little more promising; I no longer have an Xbox 360, Pete and I have written the skeletons of some excellent Deftones-ish metal groovery and there are certain things to be posted on here which you will hopefully enjoy listening to as much as we did creating them.

Happy Another Year. Thank you for your attention. Bye.

As the camera moves slowly backwards out of the room, Davydd turns to find his monitor hilariously full of flashing orange IM windows, each angrily asking why he is ignoring them. I mean, seriously! I'm a busy man, you know? Sometimes I'm not terribly quick at responding. Anyway.

One Last Final 2008 Post Part 1

So how was 2008? T'was good I guess. Especially musically. After centuries of only playing video games and watching anime, Jon Chang decided to make me a happy man once again, two times in one year.

Yes, Chang and the rest of his pantheon are the gods of grind, an unstoppable force continually deconstructing all philosophical bullshitting about music and its respective purpose into a perfectly clear, primal purpose = SPEED.

So... album of the year? Fuck the year. It transcends time.


Our gang of three aside, here's the best post of the year, on the best blog ever (I would have added Noisear though, but I wouldn't know what else to kick off the top 10).

Happy New Year everyone.

Act now.

[There is no second part to this post.]

Monday, December 22, 2008

Cephalochromoscope embodied in song


So here's a holiday present for all you Discordance Axis fans!

Davydd Grimm says (13:50):
so, that cover...
Davydd Grimm says (13:50):
when are you emailing it to jon chang?
Zmaj says (13:50):
what cover?
Zmaj says (13:50):
this?
Zmaj says (13:50):
well, let's think about that carefully
Zmaj says (13:51):
I'm not sure if I want to disclose any personal information at all since he might attempt to assasinate me
Davydd Grimm says (13:51):
hahahahaha!
Davydd Grimm says (13:52):
he does own guns


Rare 2008 Information Sniper Cover (Mediafire)

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Grind and loathing in Melbourne: The Agents of Abhorrence [Part I]

So finally (well, at least as far as I'm concerned), another interview on Cephalochromoscope!

The Agents of Abhorrence are probably my absolute favorite when it comes to all these "new wave of powerviolence" bands. About this term, "(new wave of) powerviolence"; I wouldn't really say that it fits too well, and I use it somewhat hesitantly, but since many people like to identify bands such as Iron Lung and the Endless Blockade with the aforementioned term, I guess it's not that far off. These bands aren't that similar per se, but they all play quite original, and intensely precise, extremely fast music with the occasional sludgetastic chug (you know, for contrast). I urge you all to check out whatever AoA release, but especially the 2007 full-length, Earth.Water.Sun. on 625 Thrash.

Actual interview aside, Max (the drummer) told me that putting up some music with the interview would be pretty cool too, so I compiled 9 AoA songs spanning 4 releases for a hopefully good representation of the band's work. The songs move from the fastest to the slowest to showcase their diversity, but with 'Salt and Earth' being the first track just 'cause I think it's a great opener.

Some releases to look out for in the future are the split with Insect Warfare (it should come out... eventually), and the split with Extortion (coming out this month). Speaking of which, here's their 2004 demo too, but it's (being a tape rip) pretty lo-fi stuff and I'd recommend it mostly to fans.


Agents of Abhorrence (Australia) - Cephalochromoscope Compilation

Nice shirt.

Tracklist:
1. Salt and Earth
2. Shock Treatment
3. Once a Bind
4. Hollowed
5. Open Up
6. Heirloom
7. Character Dissection
8. Covert Lobotomy
9. On Ice
Total playing time 12:38

Tracks 1 - 3 were taken from Earth.Water.Sun, recorded in 2007.
Tracks 4 - 5 were taken from the 7" split release with Iron Lung, recorded in 2005.
Tracks 6 - 7 were taken from Character Dissection, recorded in 2006.
Tracks 8 - 9 were taken from the 9" EP Covert Lobotomy, recorded in 2004.

Download (Mediafire)

Okay, that's it. Enjoy the interview!

Grind and loathing in Melbourne: The Agents of Abhorrence [Part II]

Interview with the Agents of Abhorrence. I am bold.


Zmaj: Do the Agents of Abhorrence have a specific musical objective or something similar? To be as clear as possible with this question, I'll use NOISM as an example: the objective is to produce the most technical, fastest possible stuff, which is in turn supposed to result in the ultimate aural brutality, but without going into (harsh) noise territory, so to say. I'd like to know if you guys have any compositional principles like that. For another example see the infamous first rule of good music by Jon Chang, "No slow parts!".

Max: To make music first and foremost for fun with 2 of my best friends, that we all enjoy musically. To achieve all goals that we strive for and to put 100 percent into song writing, live shows and tours when we find the time. To push ourselves, both creatively and physically. Fast doesn't always equate to brutality. Technicality doesn't make a good song. Discordance Axis had slow parts.


Zmaj: How did you come up with the bandname, "Agents of Abhorrence"?

Max: We came up with it at random when it was just Ben and I playing as a two piece. Slightly cheesy. Slightly in homage to many of the great Bay Area/West Coast American grind/punk bands in the 90's. If I knew we would last this long as a band I would've considered a different name - but in the end it isn't the name that does the talking.


Zmaj: What inspires you? I do not mean this as in "bands that influenced you" (in fact, that's the next question). It's a very general question, so feel free to recommend artists and whatnot.

Max: At the moment I am inspired by a whole array of things. Roy Orbison and his ability to write perfect love songs. Roskopp playing live grindcore. J-dilla's production. Finding new ways of playing and recording drums. It's always inspiring meeting young people who have a general passion and drive to create new things - without a trace of arrogance within them. My other band just finished a tour with another band whom each member was double our age - yet still played an energetic kick ass set night after night, that was pretty inspiring.


Zmaj: Time to ask the inescapable interview question/request that somehow always manages to remain relatively interesting (well, for me at least) - name your influences! I am 101% sure that there's a big Discordance Axis influence present, which is pretty much the only thing I care about, but please expand on that a little anyway.

Max: A lot of Australian grindcore has influenced me just as much as DxA has. The Kill being just one of the important local bands for me. Our good friends Iron Lung in America. Mortalized, Immortal fate, Neanderthal, Regurgitate, 324, Repulsion to name a few off the top of my head. A huge influence on us is also SWANS.


Zmaj: Lyrics. I wish that every booklet contained expansive liner notes about the lyrics, like the DxAx reissues, or some Shank stuff. What I'm most interested about is the meaning behind seemingly less personal songs like Under Earth, but really, I'd just like to talk a little about the lyrics. From what I can tell, most of the songs on Earth.Water.Sun are sort of angrily emotional, as in short bursts of self-expression. Is the newer stuff like that too, or is it heading in a particularly different direction?

Max: Well Earth.Water.Sun is the most recent release we have. Although we have recorded for a split 7" with Insect Warfare since then. Our lyrics are often dictated by the theme of the record itself. For example with Earth.Water.Sun we often refer to images of land, soil, water, life, energy and use them to express ideas of isolation, death, fear, human fragility and most of all love. As new age hippy as all that sounds. We did the same for earlier work such as Character Dissection - the lyrics were themed around flesh, blood and physically separating the body from the mind to describe our experience of losing touch with today's generation, anger and ideas of love and romance. Basically being a cold being, cut with precision and then internally analyzed for hidden truths. We all contribute lyrics so this may be just my outlook. Our newer stuff is mainly about Mango's and rollerblading.


Zmaj: Musically, how does the new AoA sound compared to Earth.Water.Sun and earlier stuff? Any changes and/or important differences?

Max: Well, again Earth.Water.Sun is our latest release. Here is a list of what's recorded:
2003: 14 song demo. Really quickly put together by me and Ben for the fun of writing fast songs with a mate. 4 track recording in a room. Released on tape on a few different pressings.
2004: Covert Lobotomy 9" E.p. Our first studio recording was a nightmare. This record came out way to thin sounding. We were unhappy.
2005: Split 7" with Iron Lung. Our last batch of songs as a 2 piece.
2006: Character Dissection Album. Our first record with Grant on vocals. The first big change for AOA was becoming a 3 piece and expanding our song range.
2006: Split 7" with EXTORTION. Took forever to come out for many reasons. Out now (December 2008) on Deep Six.
2007: Earth Water Sun Album on 625thrash. Our best material recorded. Although not our fastest songs, I think they are the most intense and planned out.
2008: 5 songs recorded and unreleased. Supposed to be a split with our mates Insect Warfare (r.i.p) who we have toured with. Raw and Faster. We hope it comes out soon!!


Zmaj: What equipment do you guys use?

Max: Drum kit, single kick pedal. An Aluminum made guitar run through 1 guitar amp + 2 cabs and 1 bass amp and fridge. One throat.


Zmaj: How do you like touring and gigging in general? Does any AoA member dislike it? In the case of DxAx, Rob Marton didn't enjoy playing live at all (if I remember correctly). Just thought it was kinda weird.

Max: I love touring. We have been lucky enough to have traveled a lot as a band and I hope that doesn't stop. I can understand how it might not be for some people.


Zmaj: What do you guys do, other than AoA? Feel free to mention any other bands you're in, but it's more of a "what do you do for a living?" question.

Max: I play in a few different bands. Produce music for people and work as a bar tender. I also Dj for extra cash. Grant does phone service work and looks after autistic children. Ben is a painter and does a lot of sound work for bands. We all play and have played in many other bands.


Zmaj: What do you think about file-sharing in general (how's that for a worn out topic, eh)? Do you think it's positive or negative for the more underground bands (and music in general)? I know a lot of people like to complain how it's so different from the past "when we used to trade tapes and write letters" and whatever, but you can obviously still do all that now, it's just much easier (and "less-personal").

Max: I think it's positive. Let it all hang out. Fuck purity. People will always put out records and I will always be a fan of buying them. Whatever makes people happy. We can still write letters, emails and send packages in this day and age. The "old way" only dies when people let it and the digital age only threatens the musicians who see dollars in art. My only concerns in the future would be for live music and how well shows and bands are supported.

[Note: Nice.]


Zmaj: If you'd like to express the band's political stance, go ahead.

Max: Always use lube.

[Note: Nice!]


Zmaj: Okay, if there's anything else you'd like to add, feel free to do so.

Max: Thank you so much for the interest and the support. We are very sorry we didn't get to play Croatia this year. Borders are a nightmare!


Zmaj: Thanks for the interview!

[All photos are from the band's myspace.]

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Sludge galore, Birushanah and Suma!

11-18-2008. Within their current (still on-going) Europe tour, Birushanah and Suma played at KSET (Zagreb), a student club of the best Croatian faculty/college for electrotechnics and computer science, FER (that doesn't really have much to do with anything though; a lot of stuff goes on at KSET). I was sick (still am; I think it's the flu), but I wasn't gonna miss this no matter what.

Zagreb, bloody Zagreb.

What kills me about trains here is how you need to transfer to a bus midway, like I'm traveling to some remote village in the hills or something, and not between two of the largest cities in Croatia. I'm sure y'all imagine it's all just a big village over here, but it almost isn't. Seriously though, modernize railways or make intercity bus travel cheaper you assholes.


Hailing from Osaka (just like Corrupted and many, many, other awesome bands), Birushanah was really the main reason why I went, and I'm happy to say that their performance didn't disappoint the least. They lit a candle before the show to fill the air with a fragrance that I, my nose full of shit, couldn't smell. However, Birushanah was so awesome that they totally blew off my fragile face, and in fact, melted all the sludge in my nostrils. Yeah, I loved it. The vocals could have been turned up quite a bit, but the guys were still pretty amazing. "My friend the bassist" (that's not how I call him in real life) especially loved Sougyo's kickass bass-playing; tapping, slapping, whatever, all in one riff. I'm not saying that any of the other members fall behind at all though.

Japanese scales, traditional percussion, fretless bass, and insane, frenzied screaming. The build-ups feature gradual speed-ups and somewhat weird time-changes. And no, it's not like Isis and Neurosis at all. When they reach the peak they don't stop for a long time, sounding like the heaviest thing ever, yet faster than the fastest Corrupted song; the band goes completely berserk with surgical precision. Birushanah was all that I claimed they were a long time ago, on this very blog, "...some of the most progressive, intense, and heaviest sludge imaginable blended with Japanese traditional music, most notably percussion. Now don't think that this is some Ensiferum-type folk addition to the music, it goes far beyond simple melodies and the traditional instrumentation plays a much bigger part.".

Actual concert aside, Sougyo asked me about my Discordance Axis "Reincarnation" shirt after a giggle-ridden inspection of the various kanjis present.


Malmö's Suma has already visited Zagreb in the past so they are a relatively well known band amongst local sludge enthusiasts. Sad to say I had not bothered with checking them out before the gig, but their set was quite awesome as well. Suma differs a lot from Birushanah. They're a somewhat experimental form of sludge, dronetastic, fuzzy 'n' psychedelic stuff. The vocals represent effect-heavy (as in delay/reverb) unsettling shouts of doooooom.

The drummer and guitarist (Erik and Peter) being twins aside, another very entertaining part of Suma's performance was, in fact, the vocalist, Dr. Jovan. Maybe he's a psycho, I don't know, but for some reason Jovan has an irresistible urge to perform focused movements akin to a mage character in Morrowind or Arx Fatalis casting some complicated spell. I stood there in half-disbelief/half-amusement for a while until our eyes met; his eyes gazing into mine with the most evil look ever. It was then that I understood, Suma is serious business. Other than that he also likes to climb stacks of speakers and such, just sitting or standing on them, and generally acting like a gargoyle.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Escape from New Cephalochromoscope

Just to link to some musically related posts on other blogs (and keep a few promises).


The new Muga album, "There is Nothing Eternal Exists", in all its Engrish glory, is now on Crustmas. I remember some guy asking about it in the shoutbox ages ago, but that aside I know that many Cephalochromoscope visitors love Muga.

Zero linked to our Muga/Swarrrm split some time ago too, in this Crustmas post, precisely. Now, I might as well mention this if I confused some Swarrrm fans with my comments on that Crustmas post (as in, what the hell was I talking about); I said that I was fine with the split since the Swarrrm tracks were re-recorded/mastered (even though they are also on Black Bong), and I mentioned "Hitaka" as the vocalist, but the guy that I actually meant was Tsukasa Harakawa (also see: Hellchild, From Hell, Force, Atomic Fireball on their split with Swarrrm, and of course, the Swarrrm itself). I noticed this just recently! Guess I must have subconsciously confused all these bandmembers of Japanese bands in my heaaad.

Also, there's this new awesome blog, Eater of Sounds, where Chairmaker provides loads of awesome Japanese releases right up the Cephalochromoscope alley. Among other things; Atomic Fireball's Strange Ways, Undivided EP, split with Frodus, and also Scalene. Music aside, the blog layout includes Katsuhiro Otomo and Tsutomu Nihei artwork which makes it awesome by default.


In other news, I can't believe I'm kinda getting into At The Gates again. Still pretty much the only good melodeath band ever.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Barack Obama (USA) - The Presidency (2008)


We're not scaremongering. This is really happening.

Sorry to intrude on the musicky goodness with some reality, but am I the only one currently imbued with a faint sense of optimism? Come on, let's have a debate.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Cephalochromoscopin' 'round the world

Did you break my goddamn cephscope, Barris?

So back in April I thought that people didn't appreciate Swarrrm nearly enough. I made this blog and posted a shitload of Swarrrm. Then Orfee contacted me with even more Swarrrm (and other, awesome music), and we even started a totally punk overseas collaboration, but now's not the time to be talking about that. In any case, this blog made me very happy musicwise.

But the reason I'm posting this is 'cause another fine lad joined us! Namely, bullet hell loving Davydd Grimm. So yeah, Canada, Croatia, and England. We're everywhere now.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Dislike (Croatia) - Ctrl (2006)


Tracklist:
1. Way Of Slavery
2. Hypocrisy
3. Dislike
4. Gore ne Može
5. Chaos Crust
6. Silent World
7. Digital God
8. Lifeless
9. Nema Boga
10. Church
11. Ti Si Mrtav
12. Get Drunk
13. World Of Shit
Total playing time 15:56

Back in 1997, Dislike played a whole different, crustier, simpler kind of grindcore. Today, they play more technical death-grind, and as far as I'm concerned, they're one of the best Croatian grindcore bands. Požega kicks ass. And I might as well mention; one of the founding members was Kukatz, only member of the quite well known Gruuthaagy (he's not in Dislike anymore though).

Come to think of it, one of my first grindcore gigs was Dislike at a local two-day punk festival, "No pasaran!" (cool name eh?). Needless to say, it was totally awesome. In fact, the whole festival was pretty awesome, and I'll miss it (No Pasaran happened only a few times).

Download (Mediafire)

"Ti si mrtav jer ostavljaš svijet
U rukama onih što ga ne žele"

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Rise of the Blogging Men, Vol. 1

Buried under shitloads and shitloads of music blogs, there are some without (mp3) download links. No download links at all. Incredible! For that reason, most of these sites (that represent actual blogs, rather than mp3 archives) are not quite popular among the blogreader crowd "interested in music". Truth is, most of you just want to download crap for free. But I don't care and I wanna turn THIS blog into a more webzine-kind-of-thing.

However, this post isn't about Cephalochromoscope. It's about great music-related no-mp3 blogs that I really enjoy.

Prepare for... Rise of the Blogging Men, Vol. 1!


Condensed Fresh
What's not to like about setlists? Setlists can be pretty awesome. Especially awesome setlists of awesome Japanese bands. I mean, just look at the Corrupted one. The author has been to Japan and has lots of punk-as-fuck stories to tell. The blog has only 2 followers. It's not an old blog, and this whole follower thing is pretty new, but still.

Grind and Punishment
One man's (mostly) grindcore-oriented review archive, growing larger by the day. A magical place where Dostoyevsky meets Discordance Axis. The author writes for a living, and the stuff is a joy to read. Reviews aside, there are interviews too. Very interesting interviews about interesting topics with interesting questions (unlike "when did you guys form?", or "do you like beer?"). Yesterday was Grind and Punishment's first birthday; I am the only follower and I don't get it.

Punk is Hippies
Wow, this blog has 7 followers! How come? Are there, like, pictures of kittens and crap?
Well, apparently punk is cute kittens, but that's beyond the point. The blog is actually a huge, downloadable, hi-res, punk fanzine archive. WHERE IS YOUR GOD NOW? Scan and send your stuff.


And, in case you were wondering, while I was trying to think of the most idiotic post title... Yes, I did come up with more!

Axeblogger
His Hero is Blog
Blog Against
Blog on the Beach
Eyehateblog
Blogchild
Iron Blog
Blog Burns to Death
Disblo... Nah.
No Comment (this one's for you, dear readers)

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Kowloon Walled City (USA) - Turk Street EP (2008)


Tracklist:
1. Turk, Taylor, and Jones
2. My Hands Are Turning To Bricks
3. Another Corporate Takeover
4. Inheritance
5. Make Us Pay
Total playing time 25:16

Your hands are turning to bricks you say? Yeah, that's how it sounds too.

Kowloon Walled City sounds like every sludge band should sound. Like the Thing himself is on guitars. When attempting to describe their influences, the words of an actual bandmember are quite likely to be more accurate than my own; "detuned sludgy heaviness - Unsane, Shallow ND, Black Cobra, that kind of thing". The same bandmember, Scott Evans, did a mighty fine and clear recording/mixing job as well.

Despite the sound actually being pretty atmospheric, KWC do not believe in subtlety. Why say "I do not enjoy your company" or whatever when you can just say "Fuck you", right? (Or something.)

In contrast to his music, Evans' email said "Greetings from San Francisco" when "Hi, here's a pile of fucking bricks for you to download" would have been much more appropriate.

Awesome sludge!

I guess you'll have to buy either the CD or 10" for lyrics, but this band is awesome therefore the whole EP is free for download (direct). Also, bandname trivia.

If I ever have children I will make them play ball... with a brick!

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Mercenary Cockroach (Croatia) - Steps To Nowhere Demo (2006)

Photobucket

Tracklist:
1. Capitalist Values
2. Steps to Nowhere
3. Age of Deception
4. No On Paper
5. 0.00 Promile
Total playing time 09:26

Members of a shitload of other awesome Croatian hardcore/crust/grind bands ("Extreme SV, Nulla Osta, Suffer, Homo Homini Lupus, Bolesno Grinje, Tutta Forza") decided to form another grindcore band, and this is the result. Not quite old school, or original, but it's great, ferociously heavy and angry grindcore. Something to note are the solos from the Dream Theater fan on lead guitar. Yes, a Dream Theater fan in a grindcore band.

While this is their first studio recording, they put out a split in 2007 with the most well-known Croatian grindcore band, Bolesno Grinje.

Download (Mediafire)

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Mortalized (Japan) - Satanic Serial Murder (2004)

mortalized ssm tape cover

Tracklist:
1. A Crack in the Cataracts
2. Castration Rites
3. Destruction
4. Drowned
5. Speed Satan
6. Untitled
7. Untitled
8. Untitled
9. Untitled
10. Untitled
11. Untitled
12. Destruction (Adagio)
13. Darkside
14. Speed Satan
15. Rapture
16. Nine
17. Bound to Kill
18. Killer-3
19. Rapture and Being Broken with Fire
Total playing time 20:11

While the Russian Mortalized represents your average goregrind band, the Japanese band is probably one of the most kickass deathgrind bands in existence. Unlike so many younger bands, they remember what is best in life.

So what is best in life anyway?
Well, while Conan would no doubt say it's "to crush your enemies, see them driven before you, and to hear the lamentations of the women", that answer is WRONG (sorry Arnie). Obviously, the guys from Mortalized know the correct answer...

Speed and Satan.

Yes, Speed and Satan, the most important things in life, all reflected in but one song title, "Speed Satan". How can it not be awesome? Seriously though, this is excellent, explosively fast tremolo grindcore.

However, the production is something you're allowed complain about (but only a little), as it's very muffled. I don't actually own a physical copy of this tape, so I don't know whether it's the same with the original or it's just this rip that sucks. But hey, this'll have to do for now. It's still a great thing to have since it features lots of songs collected from many Mortalized releases.

More precisely:
1-5: Forthcoming Mortalized MCD (1, 2 and 4: Our Last Day, Discordance Axis covers)
6: Unreleased
7-11: Absolute Mortality #2
12-15: Absolute Mortality MCD
16-17: True Ideal Part 2 compilation
18-19: Split w/ Evol

Download (Mediafire)

Have more info? Leave a comment.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Monstres par Excès releases (noise label)

Here's some noise for a change. Thanks to Gabriele of Monstres par Excès, an Italian noise/experimental label.

Cassa Ufficio Malattie Tropicali (Italy) - L'Anno dei Mongoloidi (2007)

Tracklist:
01. L'Anno Dei Mongoloidi (10:23)

"A 10 minutes harsh and raw live set in Shanghai, recorded by C.U.M.T. in the first days of their allegiance. With members of Lolita Vibrator Torture, Istituzioni Ambienti Naturalismo and some other slaves. Includes video footage of the live event in Shanghai!"
Download (Mediafire)


Istituzioni Ambienti Naturalismo / Lolita Vibrator Torture (Italy) - L'Aids Alza la Voce e Noi Alziamo il Volume (2007)

Tracklist:
Istituzioni Ambienti Naturalismo
01. Britney Adotta Bambini Cinesi (9:41)
02. Shock Tommy (7:43)
Lolita Vibrator Torture
03. Cetrioli Olandesi (8:00)
04. Dormire Nell'Armadio (8:06)

"Two tracks inspired by the most important events of 2007 deliver Istituzioni Ambienti Naturalismo at the best of his harsh brutality (features a wonderful sample from Anna Maria Franzoni's process), while Lolita Vibrator Torture's gonna spoil your ears with another two tracks about vegetables and homeless people sleeping in wrecked closets. You will not believe to the sonic rush created only with breathe and a plastic bag!"
Download (Mediafire)


Torturing Nurse + Cassa Ufficio Malattie Tropicali (China & Italy, 2007)

Tracklist:
01. Noi, Noise, Noia - 我们,噪音,厌烦 (31:22)
02. Zanzare - 蚊子 (0:07)
03. Nichilismo Moda Dell'Anno - 虚无主义是今年的潮流 (0:11)
04. Le Parrucchiere - 理发师女儿 (0:13)
05. L'Amico Tedesco - 德国朋友 (0:10)
06. Rape Di Nanchino - 南京的萝卜 (2:22)

"More than half an hour of collective harsh noise with original chinese percussions and lolita screams. Recorded in a sunny afternoon in Shanghai, a long suite of bastard feedback and a bunch of less-than-10-seconds-tracks with a grindcore flavour. Dedicated to Zev Asher with all our contempt."
Download (Mediafire)


So yeah, all releases are only €5 + shipping while "everything is limitedly-released and hand-painted, with cured artworks and professional graphics layouts". More info on the label's page.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Razlog Za (Croatia) - Boli Njih Kurac Za Nas MC (2000)

Photobucket

Tracklist:
1. Old Skul Stvar
2. Živiš Samo Jednom
3. Boli Njih Kurac Za Nas
4. Davidova
5. Kada Padaju Zvijezde
6. Na Kraju Priče
7. Jedinstvo, Prijateljstvo, Snaga
8. Emo Stvar
Total playing time 13:49

Razloga Za is a hardcore punk band with legendary status in the Balkans, though they've split up a while ago. Probably the most famous band to come out of Kutina, Croatia, even a "Tribute to Razlog Za" compilation with bands all over the place doing covers was released recently. Their music and lyrics had a undeniable positive strength, as they sang anthems to friendship and life. Even though I'd say that you would probably have to understand the language to fully appreciate it, it's still definitely worth a listen.

This is their 4th release, 3rd in cassete format, and it's probably my favorite.

Download (Mediafire)

Jedinstvo, prijateljstvo, snaga.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Smetnja & Zmajevdah (Croatia) - Seiuchi / Antarctica Split (2008)

smetnja zmajevdah split 2008 small

Tracklist:

Smetnja
01. Seiuchi Warmaster Dušan
02. Penguins Are Not For Politics
03. Dada Submarine
04. Blue Whale Sonic Destruction
Zmajevdah
05. Happy Shipyard
06. So Beautiful
07. Sea of Eden
08. Antarctica
09. Our Planet's Dream
10. Neon Sea
11. Polarity
12. Love Factory
Total playing time 57:56

So I figured since it's my blog I might as well post my own stuff, hah!
C/P from myspace:

Mr. Smetnja and I decided to do another split release, and obviously that's what we did. It's free for download at a pretty cool extreme and experimental music netlabel - Sounds Abound.

What can I say about my side?
Well, it's pretty inconsistent and I don't know if that's good or bad. Happy Shipyard could be called noise, Antarctica grindcore, Sea of Eden post-rock, Neon Sea kinda tech-death / post-metal or something... You get my point. My future music will probably be most similar to Antarctica when compared with the other songs.
I drew the artwork again and I quite like how it turned out in the end. There are 3 pics with the audio: the front cover, the liner notes, and the tracklist. The liner notes consist of contact info and 2 songs/poems by Smetnja and myself - Smetnja's thing is simply his thing, and my part includes the lyrics to the actual song, Antarctica.

It's pretty long too, almost an hour with each side being a little less than 30min. The rar filesize is 102mb at 256kbps mp3 quality. Download it at the Sounds Abound myspace page, release SA21.

That's about it. We both appreciate feedback, of course. ;)

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Information Sniper - A Tribute to the Grindcore Ninja Commando Team [0001]

The following two posts are something I've wanted to do for a while, and they are what the title says they are - a tribute to Discordance Axis. The first post features a short review of "The Inalienable Dreamless", and the second lots of other stuff, more precisely random DA trivia that I couldn't find answered anywhere else and present/future bandmember project(s) info. So hopefully at least DA fans will enjoy this.

[0010] - The Inalienable Dreamless < !!! >
[0011] - An Interview About Particularities

Information Sniper - A Tribute to the Grindcore Ninja Commando Team [0010]

discordance axis TID cover front

This album cover is that of the best album ever. Seriously, I will not argue about that with anyone. As I have already mentioned, for the first part I wanted to do a short review kind of thing, so that's what I did, irrelevant to whether it makes any sense mentioning the sheer levels of fanboyism contained within the next few paragraphs.

The Inalienable Dreamless, as I experienced it on the first listening session, was... amazing. I had either realized, or made myself believe through blastbeat-hypnosis, that I had found in this album a sort of aural perfection, a flawless ball of sound, a world encompassing, embodying the creative urge, the urge to scream, the urge of nature, an extremity akin to an overwhelming orgasm out of the totality of love, all in twenty-three minutes of twitching near-dissonance that somehow transduces from its original state to the utter joy of existence. From the overall design, to the music and the lyrics, The Inalienable Dreamless is miraculously beautiful and exhilarating.

It is grindcore.

You could say that the minimalist cover art stands in contrast to the audio content. The music itself is a total explosion of condensed sound trying to break free, like words uttered in the (relative) vaccum of space, whereas the portrait of a perfect blue sky (and, well, sea) defines a state at the same time morose and serene, ambivalent, the very construct of our reality: existence. Here's life, unmatched in intensity, through Witte, a drummer incredible in terms of accuracy and speed, followed by exceptionally original, abstract and just silly riffs to-bang-your-whole-goddamn-soul-to by Marton, and finally, to top the cake off in a martial arts manner, some of the most extreme and self-destructive screaming ever coming from the lungs of Chang, implying that he is either a very angry man, or one of them banshees from the netherworld (also, totally demonic growling, mind you). The combination of the three amounts to something apparently incomprehensible to most people; an album actually fairly melodic, but at the same time as abrasive as harsh noise. Or so it'd seem.

Photobucket
"DA was essentially 3 very strong personalities clashing constantly."
- Jon Chang

Not mentioning the lyrics would be a sin since they also belong to the very top of the genre, mostly 'cause Jon Chang decided to put some time into writing and actually express himself and his emotions through words. People like to describe all Discordance Axis lyrics as a combination of anime and sci-fi (literature), but there's a huge difference in terms of pure, yet unmeasurable emotional input between "The Inalienable Dreamless" and everything written before. When TID was released, newly apparent in Chang's lyrical style was the huge Neon Genesis Evangelion influence.

"At last I heard those words from you
But they make me disgusted with myself
Life choked back into you
With ambivalence

Familiar closed hearts conceal their loneliness
As best as they can
When together
Even further apart

Open your heart
As wide as the sky
This pain worse than death
I just ran away
Lonely?
Yes lonely
But you can't always rise from the dead"

- End of Rebirth

Aside from the title (which is most likely an Armored Core reference?), the whole song reminds of Evangelion for many reasons, but especially for the way it climaxes in the end, kinda theatrically explosive, like the End of Evangelion. Adding to all that is Jon Chang screaming his poetry like it's the last thing he will ever do. I mean, y'know that Eva protagonist, a whiny boy in puberty, Ikari Shinji? As pathetic as he is, he still tries, and tries, and tries. But you can't always rise from the dead, right?

"I had a strong influence in my writing style from Eva and a strong influence in how to structure the material."

Basically, what I'm saying is that these three guys blasted away some twenty minutes worth of noise and created the greatest piece of extreme music ever. Yes, that is what I'm saying. This is the grindcore album, and for a long time now I remain incapable of imagining a more satisfactory listening experience, just like the guys in Discordance Axis were incapable of slowing down.

discordance axis TID cover back

Information Sniper - A Tribute to the Grindcore Ninja Commando Team [0011]

Since Jon Chang is such a nice guy I got the chance to ask him a few specific TID-related questions (and a bit more) totally unexpectedly. :D
There's really not too much text, but I asked some stuff that I haven't seen answered anywhere else (+ I included some scanned pics and whatnot), and I actually managed to lose my original questions so I'll have to improvise that part. Sorry lol.

Alright, here goes (I'm the bold one ;)):

DA-code
Regarding the TID front cover and the booklet - what's the meaning of those numbers/code above the band name and album title on the front, also above all song titles inside the booklet? [Note: the pic above this question is an example of what I'm asking about.]

The numbers regarding the song titles all regard quotes from the book Excession by Iain M Banks. If you pick it up you will be able to find deeper references to other things there ^o^


Photobucket
There's a Japanese sentence on the booklet which I identified as the ending line of End Of Evangelion ("気持ち悪い。"). Could you elaborate a little on why you put that particular line there? [Note: again, the pic above this question is an example of what I'm asking about.]

I quoted the End of Evangelion line because I was pretty sure that TiD would be the end of DA. I had a strong influence in my writing style from Eva and a strong influence in how to structure the material.


You said that you don't really like older DA lyrics too much anymore. Why exactly is that? [Note: The following three questions, this one included, were actually just one bigger question, but I divided them for an easier reading experience. Oh and I totally didn't ask them this way haha. This one wasn't even a question but more like just a mention.]

It's true, I'm not that fond of the older DA lyrics. There are some interesting passages but a lot of it was being dumb and young. Or at least that's how it appears to 35 year old me. 18 year old me felt all that stuff very strongly.


How do you write GridLink lyrics - more precisely, are they similar to your writing style on TID and are they still as influenced by Evangelion, or are you using a totally different approach?

GridLink reflects where I am at today. It is a bit more bitter. It talks a lot about war and the lack of identity in young people (myself included). Glomming onto ideas that are very idealistic, but when we get older we see these ideas were truly naive.


And what about Hayaino Daisuki?

HD on the other hand is ghost stories for the most part, which are a totally different writing process and a lot of fun to be creative with. I spend a lot of time looking at old paintings to get inspirations.


Something else that I'm interested in but I haven't seen answered anywhere else (kinda surprising) - what video games have been the most influential and inspirational for your work? [Note: At the time when I asked this, I think what I actually meant was what games inspired the lyrics the most, but this is pretty cool too lol.]

A game that has influenced my work? Well my gaming work, I really love Syndicate, Mercenaries and the Marathon series. Those made me want to go out and make video games. There are many games I enjoy: Armored Core, Metal Gear series, Final Fantasy, etc. I play Call of Duty 4 MP fairly often and I enjoyed Crysis quite a bit, though I wasn't a big fan of their MP...mostly the fact that I could never get it to work! LOL
Currently looking forward to MGS4, Mercs2, Little Big Planet, Killzone 2 and Resistance 2. And of course Black Powder Red Earth :-D I tend to have very high standards though...so it means if I enjoy even 1 of those games I just mentioned I am in good shape, LOL.


Well, that's it for the mini-interview, but here's a little more about Chang's current projects:

gridlink amber gray cover
GridLink - a grindcore band that features Matsubara from Mortalized on guitar! Their first album titled "Amber Grey" is coming out on HydraHead the 20th in June (that's this month, by the way), and I'm really excited about that. Awesome and kinda technical thrashing.

hayaino daisuki HKCDF cover
Hayaino Daisuki - another grindcore band (or is it?), and this one features Matsubara too (hah)! This is actually, in essence, fast thrash metal influenced by ancient 80s thrash metal bands, and Sex Machineguns too, both in music and image. They released their first EP recently, "Head Banger's Karaoke Club Dangerous Fire", on HydraHead. Awesome in its cheesiness.

Photobucket
Echelon Software - a indie video game company. Obviously mister Chang likes to talk about video games, as a matter of fact, he has his own small independent video game company called Echelon Software. Their first FPS intended for online gaming is currently still in production, but from what I understood they hope to release it by X-mas this year. The game is called "Black Powder, Red Earth" and it has some awesomely original features. As an example, here's an excerpt from the site:

"Rather than building an elaborate 3D world space trapped on your platform of choice, BPRE uses framework already found on the Internet in social networking and e-commerce applications. Players, already used to creating and managing online identities on sites like Myspace and Face Book and buying products on sites like iTunes and Amazon, will be able to jump right in with little to no learning curve. Best of all, BPRE's commercial and social side is accessible from either from inside the game or from the outside via any Web-enabled device."


I don't know about any projects of Rob Marton, while Dave Witte seems to do his usual stuff (aka play in about 20 bands at once).
Here, I'll list some of Witte's current and former bands:
Discordance Axis
Human Remains
Municipal Waste
Burnt by the Sun
Black Army Jacket
Melt-Banana
Hex Machine
Phantomsmasher
East West Blast Test
Birds of Prey

END.

Monday, June 2, 2008

KIKURI [Japan] - Pulverized Purple [2008]


Few people are sane. The Festival International de Musique Actuelle de Victoriaville, a world-renowed "avant-garde" music festival, celebrated its 25th edition in May of this year. These few sane people know why folks like Fred Firth, Anthony Braxton, John Zorn, Otomo Yoshihide and Mike Patton to name a few, feature as regulars and they knew why back in 2005, on The Boredoms 5-date north american tour, cities included Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, New York and Victoriaville.
Last year on the 24th edition, on May 21st 2007, two legendary musicians on their own, in need of no introductions, the dudes' in their fifties for god's saké, Keiji Haino and Masami Akita, shared the stage on the FIMAV closing show, for the first time outside Japan, as KIKURI. Having to drive two hours from Montréal to attend such a colossal event is to understate a negligibility. In my humble opinion I thought the show was punk as fuck, and not only because there was a drumkit, Merzbow brought some noise-triggering contraption that plays like a guitar and that Mr. Haino broke a string in the first seconds he plucked his electric guitar.

Hopefully it's not too soon to post, I figure people living in, let's say Croatia, might have a hard time getting their hands on a physical copy.

Fun fact; after the show I overheard a spectator said "that Keiji Haino is really something, but not too good a guitar player".

Tracklist;
1. That Which Will Rise From Death Here Tonight Will Go Hand In Hand With A Glittering Echo Burdened With The Sin Of Joy.. [10'15"]
2. By Mischance That Soul I Devoured Was a Transparent, Vertical Blues.. [10'33"]
3. Give Me Back That Color You Stole From My Guts.. [12'44"]
4. That Place Into Which You Fell Was Lined With A Cushion Of Pain And Is No Proof Of Your Continuing Existence.. [5'55"]
5. Pulverized Purple.. [30'20"]


Mirror (Mediafire): Part 1, Part 2

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

AMTERRORXP (Canada & USA) - Audible Animism (2008)

AMTERRORXP cover

Tracklist:
1. Absinth and 8balls
2. Systematic Solution
3. American Idle
4. Nose Trim
5. In List and Light
6. Audible Dialysis
7. Ishemic Penumbra
8. Dope
9. Battle of Droids
10. Adoption
11. Grind is Dead
12. Cactus Damnation
Total playing time 06:25

Thanks to Orfee.

So here's a North American grindcore duo, AMTERRORXP being the short form of 'American Terrorist Experience'.
Some influences of these guys include Swarrrm, Discordance Axis, and 324 which pretty much makes the project awesome by default. This release is a short (but sweet) and ferocious listening experience, and it deserves the time of any grind fan!
Also, the sound clip in the first track, 'Absinth and 8balls', reminds me of Spazz, which is also undeniably awesome. Much recommended!
Here's the homepage.

Download [from grindcorekaroake.com, thanks to jay Randall]

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Crowpath & Swarrrm (Sweden & Japan) - Split 7'' (2007)

Photobucket

Tracklist:
Crowpath
1. Cleansed in Chlorine 04:49
Swarrrm
2. Smallman Have Bigmouth (Venom 2) 05:24
Total playing time 10:13

For those who don't know: Crowpath is a Swedish tech-death/whatever/kickass band. An abrasive wall of (totally awesome) noise. Something to look out for is the originality of the cymbalwork by Eric Hall. Swarrrm's side sounds like Swarrrm. It's one of those songs with a crazy-Japanese-guy-screaming-and-crying part.

This 7" is pretty easy to find too - directly from the Crowpath Homepage (in Sweden) or the Bis Aufs Messer store (in Germany) if you're in Europe, and from To Live A Lie in the US. I think Crucificados Pelo Sistema is the main label though.