March 31, 2009

Atrax Morgue

It feels familiar to listen to italian Marco Corbelli, also known as Atrax Morgue. One can possibly rebuild its influences from 79 to 90: the most haunting of early Throbbing Gristle, Whitehouse, early Merzbow and Lustmord. Clearly reconstructing the ways of industrial, noise, dark ambient and power electronics, these early cassette pieces are musical documents of someone with complete control of his intentions and assumedly essaying over pervertion.
There is a sublime minimalistic subtlety in his music. Decrepit white noise signals turned into timid beats, sound processing of mechanical tools and field recordings, Boyd Rice like organ / synthetizer mantras, channelled into the perfect suiting range of frequencies of the cassette tape.

(1993) In Search of Death / V0

(1993) Black Slaughter / V1

(1994) Collection in Formaldeide / V1

March 23, 2009


During the course of more than two decades, Mayhem has built the reputation of one of the most notorious and influencial black metal bands of all time. Albeit a pillar of the so called second wave black metal - term referring to bands from the early nineties and forth - this demos record is an isolated masterpiece itself.
The paradoxal beauty of this record is that this teenage norwegian trio, while still adhering to satanic aesthetics, has its apparent radical standpoints neutralized by the unpretentiousness of a barely garage-band Venon tribute. This becomes evident in the second part of the album, a totally unmixed recorded studio rehearsal, showing the lads simply trying to acheive an unexampled level of heaviness much beyond the point their idols stopped, evidently having fun.
The first part of the album is especially delightful to lo-fi appreciators. Low-fidelity black metal production has seen its first steps on projects such as Bathory, debuting two years before Mayhem's demo. The latter, however, has taken the limits of lo-fi to another level: "Ghoul" and the title track make it virtually impossible to distinguish anything but a wave of reverberating fuzz and toy-like drums; Venon's "Black Metal"cover (coherently labeled as "total death version") is one of the rawest and heaviest recordings ever made. Here, and in recordings until the early nineties (specially in their Deathcrush EP), show much more of a punk attitude than anything.
Preceding all the controversy the band attracted during its twenty year plus carreer, this album, released before the second wave of black metal bands was consolidated as a specific style in the nineties, remains as a cult statement of unprecedented characteristics.

(1986) Pure Fucking Armageddon / V0

Their 1987 follow-up, the Deathcrush EP, goes beyond attitude: it is a trash, punk, grindcore, death/black metal crossover album. The opening intro track sounds like a satire to martial music found in Death in June; following tracks are utter gore themed songs, ranging between the listed styles. Deathcrush's idiosyncratic amalgam of styles closed a period of Mayhem's discography before a seven year hiatus, after the suicide of Dead, the vocalist who entered the band after Deathcrush, and the assassination of Euronymous, the former guitar player (in 1991 and 1993, respectively). Eventually, the band released in 1994 "De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas", an album that consolidated what is known today as norwegian black metal.

(1987) Deathcrush / V0

February 18, 2009

Roy Smeck

Roy Smeck is a virtuoso genious. His stunning technique, however, transcends itself, and together with improvised percussion onto the current instrument and incredibly good taste, one can't deny Smeck's avant garde approach, specially in his context.
The self descriptive "Plays Hawaiian Guitar, Banjo, Ukulele and Guitar" finds Smeck merging his Hawaiian, country,swing and blues influences in the period of 1926 to 1949, in a nearly perfect compilation.
The frenzy noticeable in the late 20s and 30s is not that evident in his later work. Albeit enjoyable and laid-back, these adjectives are not enough before the groundbreaking aggressiveness of his self described "nifty picking" seen once before.

Plays Hawaiian Guitar, Banjo, Ukulele and Guitar (1926-1949) / V0

(1959) The Magic Ukulele of Roy Smeck / 192k

February 8, 2009

(repost) Codeine

check the main post for updated links and bitrates (by browsing the menu, or clicking here).

edit: demos link fixed.

January 16, 2009

Throat Singing: Huun-Huur-Tu and Yat-Kha

Much of what is known from Tuva, with worldwide recognition, comes from their traditional throat singing technique. Deeply studied by musicians and musicologists, this technique, existent in several cultures in the world, involves the production of multiple harmonics simultaneously by a single person (see the differences between throat singing styles here).

One of the tuvan throat singing most notable ensembles are Huun-Huur-Tu. 1994's The Orphan's Lament is a true master work of tuvan folkloric songs.

(1994) Huun-Huur-Tu - The Orphan's Lament / 320k

(1997) Huun-Huur-Tu - If I'd Been Born An Eagle / 320k

Albert Kuvezin, from Huun-Huur-Tu, founded Yat-Kha in the mid-nineties intending to introduce new influences to his homeland traditional style. Albeit firstly focused on the insertion of electronic elements (by avant-garde musician, and also founding member, Ivan Sokolovsky - who left the band shortly after), Yenisei-Punk is a great example of rock music moderately conciliated with tuvan folk, and of the path which would the group follow afterwards.

(1995) Yat-Kha - Yenisei-Punk / V0

(1999) Yat-Kha - Dalai Beldiri / V1

(2000) Yat-Kha - Aldyn Dashka / V0

(2006) Yat-Kha - Re-Covers / V2



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