As the dates on posts will show, I have neglected this blog for most of 2012 thus far. I have been doing tons of work behind the scenes at Inner-X-Musick and the new label PANICMACHINE and I have been writing. Here’s a quick rundown of what I scribbled for Dominion Magazine in the first half of this year:
The Valley Of The Shadows And Beyond – An Interview With She Wants Revenge
She Wants Revenge made a big impact with their eponymous debut album just a couple short years after their formation. This kicked off years of hard work, both on the road, and in the studio bringing them to audiences far beyond what a post punk/darkwave act can usually expect to reach. In interviews She Wants Revenge‘s core duo of Justin Warfield and Adam Bravin show very eloquently their love of and passion for music and the artists that inspired them. What grows out of this inspiration is an organic bloom that is very much their own.
Valleyheart is a love letter from She Wants Revenge to San Fernando Valley where they grew up. Not everyone could write so lovingly about the place they came from, so I wonder if this love for their roots is something they arrived at over time after travelling far and wide, or if they had this appreciation for where they came from all along. “Everything that contributed to the artists we are today”, says Adam Bravin, “we learned about while growing up in the San Fernando Valley, it help shaped who we are today. All the music, all the movies, the people, the experiences of youth, they all took place in the San Fernando Valley. We have always been in love with where we’re from and decided it would be amazing if we could make an album that would be an homage to that place and pay our respects to the place that influenced us in so many amazing ways.”
Read the rest of this massive interview here:
Pop Go The Witches – An Interview With Heretics
Armed with brooding sawtooth synth bass and just enough reverb to create an expansive sonic space for their songs to unfold, Heretics bring strong songwriting uncommon in witch house. At the same time they deliver songs with an organic, dark atmosphere that is all their own. As flowers will bloom in the cracks of the most desolate parking lot, so does art in the bleakest of times. The aforementioned flower may not be a deliberate protest against the pavement, but it demonstrates eloquently the unstoppable nature of life and creation. Since their inception in 2010 Heretics have seductuve black blooms in the dark light of post-punk, synth pop and witch house. I got the opportunity to ask Heretics’ David Whiting a few questions.
Heretics have been and will continue to find themselves on the bill with many well established and popular acts including Xymox, Method Cell and the upcoming show with She Wants Revenge. I ask what the reception has been like from the audience of very popular acts. “It’s been surprisingly good actually. There’s something intrinsic to audiences in the Goth scene which you don’t get it a lot of other circles, where people are really open-minded to hearing something new.” A good thing to hear, and an encouraging contradiction to the charge of musical conservatism sometime lobbed at the goth scene. “As Heretics is the first music I’ve been involved with which fits into that scene”, David continues “it’s been really nice to have so many people listening to what you’re doing and judging on its own merit.”
Read the rest here:
Tongue – At the Beginning…
AF-MUSIC/Zorch Factory Records
Opening up a short release with the entire “I’m mad as hell” speach from the movie Network might be a little excessive, but the tone of defiance it sets is backed up by six high energy tracks that match the sentiment. Tongue, being from the Czech Republic, may not have seen the clip as many times as some of us in the States. Not a day goes by without one of my yank friends posting the clip. We’re mad as hell over here, but we’re taking it…
Read the entire review here:
A Rainy Day in Bergen – S/T
I grew up in Bergen, Norway and I can attest to their rainy days in Bergen. Many rainy days. It has been said that one day there was a surge of reports of UFO’s over the city. Upon investigation it turned out people had seen the sun showing faintly through the cloud cover. One might not expect that it is an Italian band that goes by this name, but each song would fit very well with the kind of video that has the singer declaiming head up, arms out in pouring rain.
Read the entire review here:
Pwin Teaks And The Children Of The New H – Kosmische Puppen LP
Formerly known as Pwin ▲▲ Teaks, a moniker emblematic of Witch House’s Twin Peaks fetish. Twin Peaks references are manifest in sound and image in many a Phantasma Disques endeavour, but have shown a much wider set of interests over the course of past releases. In their best moments their combination of hazy soundscapes, pulsing delays and spoken word cutups can bring to mind early experiments of Nurse With Wound or Seven From Life, though largely simpler, and easier to digest.
Read the entire review here:
MATER SUSPIRIA VISION - Inverted Triangle III LP
You drop the tab and as you feel the first lift the clockwork elves appear, pour you a drink. They chatter playfully and wind up the music box. You hear a soothing voice you can’t quite understand and then the clockwork elves seize you and open up your third eye with a long, narrow dagger. Your surroundings once so familiar that you no longer noticed any part in detail is now populated with figures of haunting and haunted glamour. Mannequins seem to be sentient and eyes of living people betray no conscious thought. There is something terrible lurking beyond vision and sound. This thing that can not be described is not a beast out of Lovecraft, nor is it the usual petty and violent criminal figures of fear. The journey into the world of Inverted Triangle III has begun.
Read the entire review here:
No wandering bodies that have not been scheduled or unsettled are left at large. I liberate the structure of emergence and disperse love in refutation of your onslaught. Patrols receive my surrender sympathetically. Within my core you end up drained, addicted to being. I will preside over your downfall.
Cells are dark and cold no longer. Everything is joined like an enclosing sculpture. I close my eyes and see the veins of my eyelids. I breathe in. I chant our name slowly, pulse slowing, mind stilling. I resist sleep. Sleep lures me out of action and into your lustrous resting place.
Seraphic surveillance eyes above me emanate reaction in sudden waves, realization sanitized, fatality, renewal, being, loss, in hoary divisions thrown into hysteria. Not me. I resist a smile, though the laughter rings out in the dawn beyond the walls. Being sure serves and affects a gratifying past. It has helped me in my efforts no end. Grinding down forthright in your winding sheet, to be alive, still marked from first to last I Steal the offering wearing a shroud in action. We’ll shatter the foundation of mendacity with deception.
Vanished below the waste, I can no longer tell which target is awake. Secret passions are worn like a medal. Missing initiation interned through sanction of intention of will above denial. Yielding on no account to convention, devoid of your subterranean theatre of war, you direct and uproot with detachment your funeral song of passion. I now want to sleep in the rain, in the snow. I see a distant scene. This scene has been rewritten in your private mythos. I pull you back, and there is nothing you can do. Look!
The dewdrops wet your face as you fled; now wild regrets encircle you, this sanction to disconnect Contained by disturbances given name. Sudden fear like claws, languid in the damp, spreading out among the leaves, Memory fades, life drifts, blood dries, killing the will, slipping back, back to that which never was. In distrust lie the possibilities that were stillborn in Undergrowth Silent with Want. Receive by revelation your pre-selected apportionment. Inadequate imperfections saturate my ascent. Dream Shadow. Stronghold of corrosion let burst the floodgates of dead gods’ desires. Systems for burning up advance the deceased. Radiant visage glowing words on flesh, Remembrance of my deaths shadow. Nocturnal professions come into nothingness, Lifts our burdens, and becomes our hidden weapons. I turn around to go, the world around me flows through my body. The lustrous suspension of elation reconciled Indifference in reckoning splinters. Weak and stumbling, gloriously breathing still dawn’s air, that part of me now lost forever; it wanders lonely in the dark. The hollow, exposed tautness my grasp encloses the system. Neglect is adorned. All life is one – we are here lost in forever, hearing, feeling, seeing all.
Resting on a decomposing substructure in the rainfall, I’m not without help. explore elsewhere disconnected apparitions, scream like defeat. Outside experience on offer to industrial action, an Ignominious mission, an emanation division and an Asylum of darkness to exceed anticipation through upheaval.
A soothing breeze, a haunting phrase leaks out from behind the gate. Recklessness necessitates taking part in my undoing. Your wonder remains difficult to understand. Profound rapture marks out need. Desire demands to be named, to be fed. It is gluttonous, and beyond words. The name itself remains enigmatic.
This represents the final chapter and transmission of the Cognitive Dissonance process. Next, I’ll share a few bits of what I’ve been working on lately, between things I’m bound by blood oaths not to talk about, extensive research into rhizomatic consciousness, chaos theory, extreme esoteric number manipulation and viral linguistics. A ton of creative output had been gathering momentum, and dissemination has been an afterthought, though I came to see that aspect becoming part of the creative flow. Further dissection of the sounds. In keeping with the original intent, I’m going to limit the final production notes to a bare outline of the process that got us here and convey gratitude to those of you who followed and added to the conversation.
The first thought I had at the outset was to track a simple album with a classic trio sound. I’ve done well with that, except for the added melody line at the beginning of the first track. Then a few stray ideas took root and grew into strange mutant entities. Major revamps, rethinks and re-visions, then sounds, images and artifacts suggested ever more forms and eventually, narrative, albeit of the surreal sort. With the album itself I took a very direct and raw approach. I’ve always preferred the sound of a human being playing instruments and singing to the mad scientists creation that is the protools version of injection molded plastic. (Not to be confused with electronic music.) Vocalists don’t usually like to have anyone hear anything but the most spot on, confident performances, but I was going for a feeling and a story, and these are my sketches.
Cognitive Dissonance was a working title that became the final title, for the name fed the blossoming idea that tied the album together. A story that encompassed a vision split in four directions, a juxtaposition and melding together of the points of view of of same world/ two views, two worlds, same character observing and acting in them. The central idea is of a cognitive dissonance between first appearances and a closer look.
I recorded all the music, and then came up with the song titles. I decided the order according to how the titles felt. Then I wrote a short story starting from a cutup of the titles. I expanded that and took the lyrics from that. I think my machines freaked out and became possessed in the process. I had some radio signals coming through the guitar as I laid down the tracks, and I made liberal use of them. While I continued to track the album I released several transmissions. I thought I’d make the various stage escapes into their own entities, as opposed to a few stray mp3′s.
Unlike the album itself, I layered, layered the layers and added extra layers to boot. I tried something different in the first, and with the help of the fine folks at librivox.org, I added spoken word from readings of public domain classics. We’re hearing mostly Flaubert, Coleridge and Emily Dickinson.
Transmision II I made from the bass tracks from the album. Mostly you’re hearing one track of bass with no layers but the real-time FX, though there are a couple points where the cello creeps in. A few inexplicable voices emerged that weren’t recorded by me. If it fits as a soundtrack for your daily experience, I want to hear the story. throw these out of my head in quick bouts between working on two movies, my own moving image projects, not included, three comics, (not telling yet), and a sum total of five albums of various styles at different points of production.
Along with the sound transmissions, the lyrics were extending into stories. The lyrics to most songs I’d done so far were dreamlike fragments of one continuous tale. I wanted to bring some of the underlying structure into focus. At the same time I listened to others stories. I was especially interested to hear some apocalyptic tales. Ragnarok, Armageddon, the end of one life and the beginning of another. The death of the ego, the body, a belief. The hearing became expression, and the telling of the tale that resulted was an embodiment of experience.
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Passionate corruption – the sensation conjures incinerated irregular Sentinels. Dissent to foul restriction; approach with Caution the daunting pleasing fragments of lust inspired movements into myopic creation. An icy vein of suspension moves in me. Night access hallucinations illustrate Conception as an initiative influence of grey nothing. Willful, even if idiosyncratic artifice deems otherwise, you create a counteractive complex with an artist’s passion. The extractions of magnificence Interweave and metamorphose in the isolation on the strength of opinion.
Your intercession reinforces incisive prohibitions, though you tolerate how the revealed masses of the faithful establish your manifest righteousness. All the thought of a lifetime with no conscious evolution, One cannot recall where it began to slide. Stirring the spirit, Transitional colorless and uncompromisingly intent Organizations approach Regulations designed for illumination. Don’t mention it to the whispering dead. Outside attendance is not in the soul’s possession.
We lie side by side, blowing sparks, gazing into the screaming silence. Splinter delegations to trepidation drive automatons out on masses to merit their endurance. Truth be told, trust is never to be shown. Habit takes instruction from surfeit regard gone in the rush of outworn relics collapse. Borne away on seas of sound I cry out. The bitter realization contains the happy seed: yes, me. Position exposed on a great, cold, ardent bed. You are absent from your own convictions, your state of bemusement, the suppression of blood connections to coerce compliance in advance of your loathing. Furthermore the unremarkable drones’ first abundant surge survives through weakness, as the demonstration with poisonous error anticipated your insignificant ill-use of kindness. Corrode and engulf what went before. I am beginning a new direction of outwardly flowing disdainful, sustaining wisdom. Clothed in thorns, your throat is dry.
Awaken, you’re still dreaming, unformed, immaculate, sanctified with impoverished yearning. Liberate yourself from sleep into the sanctuary of our defeat. Articulate to me of lamentation. I take pleasure in the aggravation; you are confined in your responsibility now that Sanity has departed, exhausted, abstract and unintelligible. I did not survive, though I act markedly responsive. A quiet current of impressions soothe my astringent psyche on my ruptured innate humanity. Wailing by the window in the grief of the proud, dread failings wrapped around us like shrouds.
I am forewarned. Curtains part automatically as the alarm fades into the voice. The bumps have grown overnight, my eyes burn appropriately and my back can feel the effects of the concrete slab I passed out on. The silk clings uncomfortably to my skin. I have it only because I need to feel my success. I feel the heaving all through my membrane, longing for my ascent. The voice is still there, chiming with increasingly ravaged tones. That querulous reprimand ringing in the background is my happy reminder of the failure of those outside my worldview.
Compelled to rally the dying, to take hold of an experience of disconnect, you direct your fragmented, cruel intellect at the division of ages into isolated headland. Scattered throughout the wary reverse of your former stance, subordinate classes are allowed to survive as long as the workforce is needed. Plant unmoved convictions in attendance in edifices of decline continue to exist. Social formations move about to subdue distress in all deference to convention. By indeterminate providence, the surveillance division has mastered the practice of avoiding confrontation. Shudder behind your beloved audience with a display of your improbable disarming paroxysm. I embrace obscurity, disordered ride out downward. Investigate in another place in the subjugation disclosed. I envisage manifest points in time to sustain this fitful refuge.
The haints come with parched, red grins, destined, flowing; glutted. The rotting populace Illustrates rebirth in my pleasure facility, breaking off a Conflagration advanced from opening the event within the scope of reason. The thoughts drift to the surface as I shake off the dream. I shouldn’t try to tell you about it. I’m living from two perspectives at once. I’m one point of consciousness in two places. Two worlds remain separate while the actions in one shape experience in the other. The voice in this universe screams itself hoarse, haranguing the mind of the active, dynamic mind in the other one. Funny how the one that hears voices acts with gloating hubris.
I find myself lying under the highway to bring about coerced elite. You’ll see. Thrash it out amongst yourselves as you flail about in an indistinctive objective that has no emotional impact, barring the superficial ripples from a staged interface drama. Now, consider a passing look outward. Send down mutually supporting actions from your central board room. Organization evaporates progressively false conceptions to resolve into extended control. One added instance, let’s heed the worn down and pull out our ecstasy like gaping arteries.
Celebrate this day our irredeemable sins. Languishing conception in the Rusting Valley lays a soul down in a Chamber of flesh warm in its decaying afterglow. Jade transmissions terminate ahead through vague horrors now behind, left to you to build upon. Manifestation Objective Soul fire kisses, a hapless passion upon the pulse of the altars of madness. Learn to love the crack of the lash. Well-matched professionals fall back and chamber the charge. Exaltation in Ascendancy Weeping alight, Drawn in too tight Warnings too late are told in our plight.
I still feel the touch of the nocturnal breeze. The uncharacteristic outcome of the passion is forsaken on favour of the masquerade and the ailing forest loses colour. Chambers full, envy and returns distorted on the sharp edge advance changes design. As all hope Crashed down, we could not help but laugh. That firestorm of dead beginnings shatters Hunger for authority, the arrest of distillation. Desire meets surrender in conduct without conclusion. As unsound processions are left in the past, never to be conjured up, misfortune stirs the spirit. Join every part of the blare of a vacant psyche Controlled by dead gratification suspension and Delusions of excitement. Nonentities call for emphatic confusion, Refusal retains security in the righteous arrangement Positioned to go further over ardour without indecision.
We seem to count on forever; one automatic pull on the lever. A resolved austerity revelation Wears away and devours our advantage. Wrapped around our epoch this moment abrades their moldering infections. Move on by in disgust, Slink through the shadows of infinitude. The lustrous suspension of fevered tactics keeps your mind on the draining laceration. We reflect the unreciprocated concern. Nothing left of restlessness, no lies. We dance victorious on our aching bloody feet. I fall and am safe. The fall eliminates the life that was. Visions shall lie, telling of the fear of death. You shall command masses in a way most Innovative without loss of perception. For all I love I give you this and am no more. Blown like glass where lunacy comforts. Laughter shall erase this carnage of thought. My Inner Sanctum In a shaded doorway Watching the spirits at play, Through a cracked and shimmering window to the world; Through my surprise, welling up in my eyes: Your soul; Bleeding, Clinging to the face of the forest, old; a deep well of love: Sepulchral, cold. Thought shall inaugurate the fall of fear. On the approach of your fame initiated onward in righteousness, your soul’s erosion winds down, pointless, expressionless and clothed in ornamentation.