Thursday, December 19, 2013

Obsidian Kingdom

Obsidian Kingdom are a Barcelona based band with black metal roots.  What sprouts beyond that, is a sombre and unique amalgamation of electronic, acoustic, rock/folk music with diverse vocalization, and above all solid song structure that doesn't adhere to any blueprint.  Simply put, I was blown away on first listen.

I went in reverse with their discography, starting with their latest remix album 'Torn & Burnt', an electronic/dub/hip-hop/IDM reworking of much of their 2012 BM album 'Mantiis'.  Anyone reading 'black metal' alongside dub/hip-hop/IDM would likely throw their Burzum mugs at the wall, and myself I was baffled the same, but the remixes handled by Oktopus (Dälek), Subheim, Poordream, Necro Deathmort, Jr Morgue, Drumcorps, Larvae and Mothboy really made me rethink electronic music and black metal in general, if not for the wonderful surprise that the merger is a lot better than one would think.

For the potential purists, their 2012 framework 'Mantiis' has to be the most overlooked BM/metal work of last/this year.  I'm not entirely in the thick of it (BM), but I've ventured deep enough to know that this entry is entirely special, and paired with their remix album, Obsidian Kingdom are a truly unique and enjoyable contribution to either side of the coin.

Speaking of coin, if you dig this, help keep the word going -- all their stuff can be downloaded for free but these are seriously sweet.

Mantiis [2012]

Torn & Burnt [2013]

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Hosewheel - Violet Frost

Some beat-driven keyboard tunes by myself under the moniker of Hosewheel.  Was the last set of keyboard songs I recorded before my PA was stolen; fairly sure these are the only songs under Hosewheel I played through an external speaker.  It still sounds like a robot is inside the tracks with the all-familiar clicking and loading sounds of my laptop, no doubt bogged down by the audio/visual bathhouse on my desktop (literally recorded through my laptop's mic).  With the speaker though the bass is deep enough to sometimes fool you into thinking its actual drum tracks/separate instruments.

I say "beat driven" cuz this is my most temperate release in terms of playing keys, as I realize(d) I have more an ear for beats and loops than I do actually playing the keyboard.  I chose to upload these because I went back to them recently and genuinely surprised myself with some of the things I did -- I'm truly happy with them, and half of them sound like actual songs for one-take improvs.