Thursday, August 18, 2011

Dirty Beaches - Badlands

Without a doubt this will now offically be my summer hangover record; in my opinion it's one of those love it or hate albums. Dirty Beaches offer you nothing more but a record do absolutley nothing to and it feels great. The only thing wrong here is that it's length does do the album justice as the album is not even a half hour long. After its completion the listener should feel lost and miserable and if you do not feel this way you are most likely not a person and probably a terrorist. Another thing Badlands could be criticized for is it's originality; the bassline from "A Hundred Highways" straight from Les Rallizes Denudes' song 'Night of the Assassins' but it's not like we haven't heard that bass line before in any other Denudes song anyway, it is time to get real. There are couple others worth mentioning but I just listened to the album again and i don't feel like doing anything anymore.


Wednesday, August 10, 2011

God Destroyer - S/T

God Destroyer is from New Zealand. I personally have not been to Australia's smaller neighbour (yet) but I've heard good things. For such a small country with a tiny population, I'm always surprised at how good underground music is over there. There are several death metal bands who've recently gained international limelight, and the last year or so I've uncovered a burdgeoning hardcore/PV scene with more filth than most can handle. Nowadays when I associate a style of music with NZ, I think of crackling tapes and lo-fi aesthetic.

Now to be sure, I'm not complaining in the least. While I'm positive every style of music exists in NZ and I simply haven't heard about it yet, God Destroyer is a surprise for me, as well as being completely expected. Given the different bands and styles I commonly associate with NZ, God Destroyer is very far removed. But then given the placid atmosphere and scenery that we all know NZ to be famous for, God Destroyer is incredibly fitting as a musical accompaniment to the country’s environment.

When I received the self-titled album, the tag of ambient didn’t dissuade my thoughts that this would be something a little noise oriented, something a little fucked up. This is not the case. God Destroyer is reminiscent of some earlier Aidan Baker, displaying gentle, flowing tones that pulsate through your own warped visions of nostalgia. There is something genuinely haunting about this type of drone music – while it can often be very alienating, it at the same time breeds a greater appreciation of isolation.

There are four lengthy tracks on this demo, all which follow a similar template. It’s pointless to go into specifics here – this is minimalist ambient music. However, when it does break the mold of minimalism and reaches into the expanses of drone, when the pulsations are loud and the musical surrounds are filled with a soothing buzz, God Destroyer is at its best. These weightier passages are juxtaposed with the minimalist quietness of other passages, further emphasising their intensity.

As far as I know (and can tell) this is a DIY recording, so listeners only familiar with the later works of bigger artists such as Baker or Tim Hecker should not expect crystal clear production. In my opinion the somewhat fuzzy exterior to this album gives it a sense of reality, making it all the more authentic and organic. But that’s just me though. The demo is free to download, and you’re all encouraged to do so.


Monday, August 8, 2011

The Dada Tapes

From the outset, Perth, Western Australia's music scene seems sparse and uninviting, even to people who live here, but with enough dedication one will uncover a thriving and genuine underground, in a plethora of different styles and genres.

Perth has two main centres, being Perth (the CBD) and Fremantle, a port town. In terms of record stores, Fremantle has two well known ones (Mills and Junction Records), as well as a couple of second-hand stores. The city has a few more, such as 78 Records (shit) and a few new ones I'm unfamiliar with, but the best of the bunch is easily Dada Records, a nondescript store front with a huge collection of different types of stuff. As I've found out, the store is quite involved with many of the city's 'experimental' bands, and has released a tape of various live recordings from a collection of Perth bands.

The artists I'm familiar with on the compilation (Royal Vomit, Mental Powers, Gilbert Fawn etc.) all provide a really great song each, but there really isn't anything remotely bad here. The songs range from soft folk/ambient to more outlandish and noisy experimentation, as well as more rock-oriented ones (as well as a hip-hop track). The comp is entrancing from beginning to end, and highly recommended.

Thanks to Reel Muzak for posting the link up. The tape was limited to 200 copies and is probably long sold out, so this rip is all latecomers such as myself have to go with.