Tuesday, December 29, 2009

UI - answers

UI (ooo-eee) were a post/math-rock group from New York active from the early 90's.
The band had a bit of a different approach in the genre with bass-heavy emphasis, opting for two bass players, à la groups like FULLARMOR. They also spruced their sound with timpani, tuba, synthesizers, and even banjo, with a strong reliance on overlapping samplers.

Came across their final full-length 'answers' (2003) recently, really diverse and fresh...could probably drop it in the pond somewhere between Tortoise and Don Caballero.

mind the graves

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

E-Life - Eleven

E-Life (Elvis de Oliveira) is an MC/DJ from Rotterdam, Netherlands.
Active as a solo artist since '95, E-Life gained some attention touring through Europe, as well as minor radio-play from his initial singles -- climbing Dutch charts throughout his career. Oliveira released two full-lengths, his concluding 'E=MC²' in 2002, and his 1999 debut gem, 'Eleven'.

Tally up another for hip-hop gems; first listen through 'Eleven' clicked right away. Great flow/voice, sharp beats, little to minimal filler.
The album opens to bells and electronic chimes, which hints the pace -- everywhere from tasteful autotune to pulsing dirges from the outside (and in) of the game are explored by E-Life.

Not positive he's done or just hiatus...but be there if he returns.

mind the graves

Sunday, December 20, 2009

AKA - Forever In Rock

AKA were a hard-rock group from Indonesia in the 70's. Afro-centric vibes grounding mathematic prog, wailing vocals. Some nice jams.
A friend of mine passed this along after the recent death of their founder/lead singer Ucok.
Don't judge the book by its cover...
I once read an entire nude magazine with only words on the front.

Forever In Rock
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Sunday, December 13, 2009

Magical Power Mako

Aside from having one of the best names ever, Makoto Kurita's Magical Power Mako project is an underground staple in Japanese psych/avant garde.
Kurita left primary school to fulfill his musical itch, beginning to experiment with synths and integrated samples/field recordings. His house overlooked a hot springs and an octagonal hotel, which Kurita believed was watching him while he worked; spurring his first release at 14 -- 'Summer 1970: Things a 14-year-old boy thinks about' (if you're curious, the opening song was called "I Bought An Extraordinarily Big Eye In The Town One Day For A Good Bargain Price")

He recorded almost constantly afterward, but his perfectionist nature led to many tapes never seeing the light of day. This guarded behavior caused minor issues with record labels, but ultimately his debut 'Magical Power', followed particularly by 'Super Record', cemented Kurita as one of the exciting and inventive artists in the Japanese underground.

Kurita is still releasing work today (scattershot nature has swayed more toward tranquil ambient works
), while work from his earlier catalog is still being unearthed and appreciated by experimental mavens alike.

Maybe not the kind of records you'll put on in groups, unless you're trippin on smarties candies or something -- but both albums are just great examples of creative introspection done right. Both cover a lot of ground but still manage to feel linked in their progression.
Def give these a try.

Magical Power [1973]

Super Record [1975]
mind the graves

Friday, December 11, 2009

Burn Down Rome - Devotion

Burn Down Rome were a hardcore/experimental/punk sandwich from the UK that were sadly short-lived, with the debut/final full-length, 'Devotion' in 2008.

The first few songs sound like "you broke up with me", more straining and uppity melancholy, and then from "XO" onward (fuggin' amazing track, btw) sounds like "you BITCH!".
The flow has heart all across the tracks -- whichever avenue they chose to explore, it feels genuine.
Def a sleeper capable to be a grower.

mind the graves

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Troubles - Sen'taur

Troubles are a nice ambient/post-rock outfit from the UK.
Just recently stumbled across them with their '07-tour EP '
Sen'taur'. Little cramped on time for a proper write-up, but it's better to just listen to them opposed to me talking about the way I think they sound.
Yah' heard.

mind the graves

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Dark Meat - Truce Opium

Dark Meat is a collective from Athens, Georgia. The group once maintained a solid 30+ members -- all the more entertaining that the project started off as a Neil Young cover band.

The band still maintains their affinity for Neil, but has since reduced to a 9-core crew. Implementing drone instruments like the tanpura, bulbul tarang, and sitar, the group successfully strives for that new age psychedelic sound -- often leading you down rolling cascades of guitar before marching you back up to an accompanied folk-psychout complete with chanting vocals, Tuvan throat-singing, all within loose free-jazz layers of buzzes and feedback.

Good album to absorb in headphones to discover all the ins & outs.

Truce Opium
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Friday, December 4, 2009

Dangers - Messy, Isn't It?

New Dangers.
Just in time to be an early-late favorite of the year. Expect the same to-the-throat bombast found on '

Messy, Isn't It?
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Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Zegota - Reclaim!

Zegota were an experimental punk band from Greensboro, North Carolina.
The group's third full-length slightly drifted into post-hardcore territory with 2004's '
Not only did it contain an amalgam of punk/hardcore, but even tribal/African rhythms from their drummer who studied abroad, whom also influenced the usage of the kora.

Pretty awesome stuff -- the blending of styles is really more of a separation of styles thrown together making for a nice mix ... def worth hearing to the conclusion for the final three tracks, where the usage of kora and varied instrumentation/song-writing approach becomes a lot more evident.

mind the graves

Wednesday, November 25, 2009


Keelhaul are a four piece from Cleveland, Ohio.
The group plays a blend of sludge/post-metal -- lots of busy drums atop crashing bass. Guitars knife their way through the lower core, making for a frenetic push/pull of colliding energies. Vocals, though rarely used, escalate some of the beefier jams into more memorable territory.

The band broke through the surface with their second album, 'Keelhaul II', released on Hydrahead. Following that release in 2003, the band went into a sort of reclusive hiatus -- only recently returning with, 'Keelhaul's Triumphant Return to Obscurity'.

Big jams. I made sure to up the highest quality versions so that your introduction is a good one -- turkey-day cheer an' all that.

Keelhaul II

Keelhaul's Triumphant Return to Obscurity
mind the graves

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Ólafur Arnalds - Found Songs

Ólafur Arnalds comes from the Icelandic town of Mosfellsbær.

With a background in classical music, Arnalds set out to create something of new and old; his pieces are heavily layered in chamber strings and piano, but with a modern-lining of subtle electronic nuances.
His debut album, 'Eulogy for Evolution', was well-received in contemporary and classical circles alike, beautifully blurring the line into a curve of styles.
After another EP Arnolds was invited to open for neighbors Sigur Rós throughout their European tour, expanding on his venerated word of mouth success.

'Found Songs' is his latest experiment -- Arnalds recorded seven songs in a week, one song per day, posted to his twitter (allowing fans to submit its artwork).
Highly recommend checking out his debut as well, but 'Found Songs' serves as a peaceful sanctum on the haziest of morning -- powerful & light compositions to fill a room.

Found Songs
mind the graves

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Nuggies - The Sound of Explosions From The Northeast

Nuggies are an experimental/noise-rock/electronic band from Burlington, VT and Brooklyn, NY. The group is spearheaded by Eli Lederman, rounded out by various friends/contributors. The band has released one full length and two EP's, the most recent being 'The Sound of Explosions From The Northeast' EP.

The EP is relatively short but showcases the band's broad scope, everything from d&b jams to sample-based electronica.

I had to listen to this multiple times to get a feel for it, because my reaction each time my player went silent was, '
Oh damn -- it's over?'... which I think is a good sign when dealing with a shorter EP.
Looking forward to another proper full-length.

Neat cover too.

The Sound of Explosions From The Northeast
mind the graves

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Azat - This Isn't Happiness

( ^^)

New Azat single.
More of a tease, really... either way a fine addition in his already solid catalog of beat-breakin' sampled goodness.
I just know some epic hour+ beast is coming soon ..
(plz Azat)

Ametsub - Linear Cryptics

Ametsub is a young artist from Japan who makes airy electronic music.
He was invited to an electronic music circuit in Japan and quickly garnered attention -- leading to contributions on various compilation albums (such as with Kid 606).
In 2006 he released his debut album, 'Linear Cryptics', at the slight age of 20.

Anyone who's interested in stuff like Otograph, or just often-frenetic rises/swells of tranquil loops, calming melodies, etc. should give this a listen. Also comes with a fair amount of glitch-elements like Kashiwa Daisuke.

His follow-up album, 'The Nothings of the North' came out this past Feb.

Linear Cryptics
mind the graves

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Lullabye Arkestra - Threats/Worship

Lullabye Arkestra are a duo from Canada featuring Justin Smalls on drums/vox (also of Do Make Say Think), and Katia Taylor on bass/vox. The band combines elements of hardcore/noise-rock with 60's soul (in the sense of exploding banshee vocals), rounded-out by a host of guest musicians from DMST and similar circles -- adding organ, saxophone, and choice-synth in tracks like "Floating Graveyards".

'Threats/Worship' is their latest full-length released in September.

"We Fuck The Night"

mind the graves

Thursday, November 5, 2009

The Brian Jonestown Massacre

If you're unfamiliar with The Brian Jonestown Massacre, or just haven't given them a proper look, I highly suggest checking out the notorious documentary DiG! first... :


...followed by their 1997 album 'Give It Back!' ... an album that took around two weeks to record that still manages to hit on every track.
Some intracacies of the album's coming-together are looked at extensively in the documentary, giving insight as well as appreciation for the meticulous attention to detail given to the record.

One of the more interesting groups -- the documentary is largely responsible for their continued word of mouth success, also the often turbulent stage-shows therein. Also a great exploration into band leader Anton Newcombe's ticks among strokes of genius, and how the two often derailed the band (numerous times) for good.
Newcombe continues TBJM today, with the familiar ever-changing lineup and group of old friends.

Give It Back!
mind the graves

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Morita Doji - Mother Sky

Morita Doji was a Japanese singer active throughout the 70's-80's.
Doji began her musical career in the midst of academic struggles, and with the larger impact and influence from the death of a close friend -- she released her first solo album in 1975.

The first time hearing her 1976 follow-up, '
Mother Sky', I was entranced by her voice: natural, nothing forced - just really beautiful/melancholy stuff. Whether whispers or wails, everything is distinct and resonated, floating between the backing strings.

Absolute recommendation.

Mother Sky
mind the graves

Friday, October 30, 2009

Book Of Dead Names - The Story Unfolds

Book Of Dead Names are a now-defunct screamo group formed in Minneapolis in 1999. The band released a handful of splits and one full-length swan-song with 2002's, 'The Story Unfolds'.

Screamo with GROOVE.
Worth hearing to the final track -- which is noteworthy for the band's scope, experimenting with a longer (8+ mins to their usual 2), concluding track.

The Story Unfolds
mind the graves

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

A City Safe From Sea - Throw Me Through Walls

A City Safe From Sea are a four-piece based around Massachusetts, who play a tight mixture of polished pop-prowess with a raw punk-rock aesthetic -- think the likes of BearvsShark, This City Sunrise, The Plastic Constellations, etc.

Thought the band deserved some more listeners, debut full-length they put out this summer, '
Throw Me Through Walls' is pretty solid material -- for a debut the fellas are definitely on their game.

Nice work all around, and listing Killing Joke under their influences sealed the deal.
Give it a listen/show support.

Throw Me Through Walls
mind the graves

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Jesca Hoop - Hunting My Dress

I tend to avoid duplicate-posting from my homie at Mirror Shades, but Jesca Hoop's latest, '
Hunting My Dress', deserves the repetition. The album is due in the states early next year, and I highly suggest lending your ears to her previous album, and specifically the KCRW session.
Awesome voice.

Hunting My Dress
mind the graves

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Discordless - 148 Light Years

Discordless is a collective from Romania consisting of Marius Costache (noise), Ana Roman (piano), Costin Chioreanu (guitar), Jeno Havelaar (noise), and Razvan Raduta (drums).

I've been meaning to post this -- someone in the band emailed me and I was really taken-back at the quality of the album, the latter-half especially with standouts like the title-track and "Red Giant".
Great variation and approach throughout the album -- no two tracks are really alike.

Keep tabs.

148 Light Years
mind the graves

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Comadre - Burn Your Bones

Comadre are a hardcore band from California, and as the story usually goes, built from the remains of other hardcore groups. 'Burn Your Bones' is their middle-mark 2nd full length from 2006, and covers their influences from Rites of Spring to Refused.. just a solid punk/hardcore release.

Some mixtapes (also their latest full-length '
A Wolf Ticket', if you wish) can be found for free right here.

Can't say myself, but the band sounds an experience live if you get the chance, touring with other hardcore/grind acts like Graf Orlock.

Burn Your Bones
mind the graves

Friday, October 16, 2009

Mogwai - Happy Songs For Happy People

Mogwai are a fairly recognized/staple post-rock group from Glasgow, Scotland. Mogwai apparently
don't even want you to call them post-rock, but Slint were one of their biggest influences...so chew that over with a twix.
Kind of redundant, yeah?

In 2003 I impulse-bought '
Happy Songs For Happy People' as my introduction to the group -- and truthfully from my time of writing this, didn't really listen to it often.

All I can say is that this album has aged well; the near-formulaic build-ups & crashes attributed to post-rock are manifested through this album with extreme attention to detail, to the point that the density of the journey outweighs the destination...or like, the erupting volcanoes and shit on your way to the destination.

This is in 128kbps ripped from my CD...
The album has a fair amount of grime though so it does it a favor.
It still sounds good.

Happy Songs For Happy People
mind the graves

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Brainticket - Celestial Ocean

Founding member Joel Vandroogenbroeck

Hey man, wanna try some Brainticket?...

It's this Belgium-led product from the 70's.. guaranteed to transport you to another dimension, m
They say that the debut form '
Cottonwoodhill' was too potent to handle, so the government like stepped in and regulated the trip, maan.

Let your soul loose before they take away our physical freedoms, yeah?
Dive into the '
Celestial Ocean'.....


[70's experimental: x][drug references: x][cosmic ellipses: x][Vin Diesel and/or Ice Cube: xxx]

Celestial Ocean [1974]
mind the graves