Thursday, March 29, 2018

D…M…D… LIVE!!! SikTh - Live @ Reading Sub 89 Concert Review

Reading, known the world over for it’s annual music festival, has seen historic performances from such revolutionary bands as Nirvana, System of a Down and Rage Against The Machine. But if you take a step outside the overflowing, muddy campsite away from the throngs of hungover / sunburnt attendees, the largest town in Berkshire suddenly transforms into a more hapless place when it comes to live music…

With gigs featuring both local and out of town bands plagued by poor promotion, low attendance and a general sense of apathy, it’s hardly surprising when bigger bands faced with the task of booking a trot around the UK completely ignore Reading and instead head east toward the capital.

Very occasionally the stars do align and an internationally renown group makes the extra effort to come down the M4, and any fans in the surrounding area circle the date in their calendar in red sharpie, and pull out every stop to make it there.

Above: The Sub 89 on a beautiful overcast day. 

With that in mind, on February 21st the celestial orbs above our little blue green planet came into order as we were gifted with a reformed SikTh coming to lay waste to our humble Reading.

Now if you’re unfamiliar with SikTh (why are you reading this?!) the Watford sextet established in ’01 were the band that made the UK metal scene’s collective jaws drop after releasing the avant garde masterpiece ‘The Trees Are Dead And Dried Out…Wait For Something Wild…’  in 2003. 

The record, which captured the group’s insane math core influenced energy and forward thinking musical approach matched by deeply visceral lyrics was light years ahead of it’s time and utterly unlike anything heard before or since. After the album swiftly became a cult hit, the band amassed a die hard following and toured the UK.

After a few brief stints around Europe and a trip to Japan, the group unleashed their second album ‘Death of a Dead Day’ in 2006, seeming poised for world domination. But the band split up the following year with the members heading their separate ways on to different projects. 

As time passed, the emerging Djent and Progressive Metal movements took a firm hold, with many of the groups citing SikTh as a crucial engineer (second to Meshuggah) in the implementation of the Djent sound and inspired many a metal band to go in a more experimental sonic direction.

Thankfully SikTh re-grouped and played a storming headline show in 2014 at the Red Bull tent at Donnington Download Festival, then brought out the crowd funded mini-album ‘Opacities’ a year later. After a tour with Slipknot, original vocalist Justin Hill left to focus on his career as a producer.

The band recruited new vocalist Joe Rosser of guitarist Pin’s side project Aliases and spent months writing and rehearsing before finally releasing their first full length in over 10 years: ‘The Future In Whose Eyes?’ in June 2017 to grand critical acclaim.

But despite coming back to claim the crown, can SikTh who were always a band too unique for their own good and too difficult to pin down (pun intended) still deliver the goods in the live arena and prove to everyone they’ve still got what it takes 17 years after their inception?

After freezing our collective nips off, the sub’s doors are opened, tickets are checked and we ascend the stairs. Pantera’s ‘I’m Broken’ blasts through the PA and the smell of beer tickles the nostrils. Yes, it’s the unmistakable yet comforting atmosphere of a metal gig, the sole thing that’s missing now is an argument about whether Metallica’s last decent record was The Black Album or And Justice For All…

Once a chunk of the crowd have filed their way in, opening act Bristol's Valis Ablaze kick the evening off. While they win over pockets of people who cordially head bang along to them, for me they represented the sub genre at it’s worst as they plodded through a set full of regurgitated and recycled TesseracT sections. 

Next up, Londoners Exist Immortal fare slightly better, as they are a much needed shot of energy. But after a while their songs also seem to bleed together, their breakdowns feeling cut from the same old cloth, although highlights are found in the odd intricately crafted guitar break, again it’s nothing groundbreaking. Which is a shame considering the musicianship and passion clearly on display here.

As soon as EI finish up they are soon forgotten, with roadies scurrying about the stage setting up drums, guitar amps and pedal boards, the excitement for the upcoming headliners reaching fever pitch.

SikTh finally take to the stage to a raucous reception and launch into ‘Philistine Philosophies’ cueing the crowd to go absolutely apeshit. Bassist James Leach shows off his slap skills during ‘Hold My Finger’ which gets everybody bouncing while ‘Pussyfoot’ sets the pit alight. 

Tie Die wearing singer Mikee Goodman gets the audience shouting “LOOK AT THE SKY!!!” before the band smash their way into the Bill Hicks inspired ‘Skies of Millennium Night’ populated by Drummer Dan Foord’s scientifically crafted drum fills. New album track ‘The Aura’ goes down exceptionally well and the amount of punters yelling along to ‘The Golden Cufflinks’ - a song that addresses the closure of many a music venue in the UK - passionately cements it as a future live staple for the band.

The second part of the set is strictly classic cuts from the Death of a Dead Day album, now celebrating it’s 11 year anniversary. ‘Bland Street Bloom’ and ‘Flogging The Horses’ keep the crazies at full pelt and Mikee even hits us with a quick shot of spoken word ‘Mermaid Slur’ which is followed up by the impossible to dance to ‘Summer Rain.’ 

After ‘Part Of The Friction’ encourages the crowd to raise their middle fingers to all the unnecessary vulturistic bottom feeders of the music industry, the group gift us the darkest metal love song ever penned ‘When The Moment’s Gone’ which is absolutely colossal, the crushing riffs of guitarists Pin and Dan Weller still seem to require an abacus to work out after their impact.

Before an emotional ‘Where Do We Fall? new vocalist Joe Rosser takes the spotlight, declaring how stoked and grateful he is to be a part of the band, observing his movements on stage he fits right in as the ying to Mikee’s yang with all the unpredictable musical chaos happening around him plus he adds his own touch to the older tracks without trying to imitate original vocalist Justin Hill.

Speaking of the devil, the man himself makes a surprise appearance for the final screams on closing number ‘As The Earth Spins Round’ which is the icing on an already glorious cake.
It’s certainly not everyone’s night, there are technical problems and small signs of tour fatigue, but when you take a look around this room you can clearly see people on the verge of tears shouting along to every word, or others with permanent grins etched on their faces who simply can’t believe they’re here to witness it. The energy being expelled by the band and reflected back by the audience tonight is nothing short of magical. 

This feeling of overwhelming amazement refuses to die out after the last note fades marking tonight a blazing success and further proof that SikTh are still the untouchable juggernaut they’ve always been, and that they are still very much needed in this mad world. Considering the reunion party has been in swing 4 years now no-one wants the rollercoaster to come to a stop yet.

An unforgettable event such as this proves that there's still hope for the future of Reading's music scene, but only time will tell.

The real question that remains is will we ever see another band as pioneering or inventive as SikTh?  

We’d best keep scanning the forest for something wild…

Sunday, December 17, 2017

Endless Chasm - Dweller at the Threshold Review

For those not so familiar with Wellington, Kansas sound mangler Zachary Lawrence and his musical outlet Endless Chasm here’s a brief catch up.

By now quite a well known face on the US underground Ambient / Drone / Noise / Experimental Electronic scene, it wasn’t until after a small collection of bandcamp singles that the ‘official’ debut Endless Chasm record exploded onto the scene in the form of a 2015 EP, an all out noise assault entitled ‘A Pedantic Critique of Modern Cultural Discourse’.

Keen not to kill any momentum, the following year saw plenty of activity from the project including two albums, ‘The Myth of Sisyphus' and ‘We Cannot Keep This A Secret Any Longer’ both released on Kansas label Big Pharma Records, run by fellow noise-heads RAGK and Contraktor.

Spreading across the states to various cult tape labels, New York's Endless Landscapes Of Decay put out a cassette titled ‘Sorcery is the Rich Man’s Curbstomping’ that was warmly received while the Chicago based Lurker Bias released ‘Harm Health' which sold out almost as quickly as the tapes could be dubbed! It presented a glowing if not slightly scatterbrained example of EC's progress and potential. 

One of it’s most notable contents was the title track, which I stumbled across one day in the YouTube video linked below. Filmed in a decrepit Kansas tavern, Zach clad in smart shirt and trousers works away over his pedals, manipulating dials to twist the chilling words of American Psycho’s Patrick Bateman into a frenzy of cacophony. 

Bringing us back to the present day, Endless Chasm returned to another Kansas based label, this time Wichita’s This Ain’t Heaven Recording Concern to release ‘Dweller On The Threshold’ making it’s arrival back in July 2017.

The physical release opts for a simple layout with a few token extras. After breaking the seal stretched across the cassette’s case, it’s front cover splashed with some delightfully entrancing glitch art, I spy tucked behind the colourful tape a translucent plastic card sporting the EC logo, as well as a free download code written upon a small strip of paper that I happily help myself to. 

Looking at the tracklist, with titles named after locations in David Lynch’s Twin Peaks series you'd be right to expect an abstract audio experience as opposed to some easy listening. 

-Although for those still yet to indulge in the addictive surrealist TV series, the ‘White Lodge’ is a place of purity and all things good while the ‘Black Lodge’ is a darker, more evil spot. (Which must certainly mean that we are due a ‘Red Room’ themed release sometime in the future). 

Listen below:

SIDE A: White Lodge
With ethereal whooshes whose harshness could only be found in the coldest, deepest point of space, a descending two note intercom like mantra plus some sparkling audio residue that twinkle like distant stars, White lodge gets itself well underway. 

To me, these sounds resemble life onboard a travelling hotel space ship, and it’s continual journey through the cosmos observed through a port side window. 

For a brief moment everything cuts out, and we are left with nothing but the isolated whooshing and sparkling, illustrating the emptiness of the cold, dark spacial void. Just past the track’s mid point a soft synth passage glides into view, it seems to want to detune itself into oblivion but it keeps rolling on. In the meantime, the housekeeping impatiently fire up the hoover.

A haze of feedback makes itself known, causing the huge space cruiser to groan as if on it’s last legs while the hum of the vacuum cleaner seems to combine with the engine’s thrusters for maximum velocity and maximum cleanliness. An electronic bleeping quietly hints at some approaching sinister space beings but the primary synth part is reprised and calm is soon restored. The ship speeds on.

It is when beheld, a very well layered soundscape with various effects that could have been lifted from some long forgotten sci-fi motion picture soundtrack (think Dr Who meets Stanley Kubrick) now it’s over to Side B.

SIDE B: Black Lodge 
This is where our imaginary traveller aboard the hotel space ship finally decides to get some rest, he lays down his head and begins to dream. Backwards loops lead the way along a path of toasty synths illuminated by the hypnotic echoing of soft cymbal hits.

As the track progresses deeper, it builds in thickness, as if closing in around the listener, like some kind of psychedelic beginning to take a firm grip of our protagonist, who is now unable to shake off the trip. 

At one point, an icy layer of drone noise gains vast momentum, reaching a raucous level that borders on harsh, it sputters indignantly but doesn’t manage to break away. The shrieking fizz is eventually drowned in the tide of backwards sonics that lap over it like the waves of an uncaring ocean, crackling into nothingness as it expels it’s last. 

While the track may dip it’s toe in the abyss, there is no wandering off into the darkness that the title would suggest, instead remaining as a trance induced, meditative slow burner that makes for an exquisitely beautiful listen. It’s pure abstract theatre for the musical mind.

Like many an Endless Chasm release, ’Dweller…’ brings together both the vintage and modern sonic worlds, brilliantly showcasing the duality and ever expanding consciousness of the Chasm. 

The project’s ability to transport the listener into far away musical dimensions is remarkable and undeniable as always.

Caving helmets on, it’s time to begin the descent into the Endless Chasm once again.

Special thanks to Zachary for sending me a physical copy of the album.

You can order the cassette here

Also try:
Phantom Burn

And a formidable collaboration with How I Met Lauren


Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Lucius Fox - Cement Sun Album Review

Ahh the difficult debut album. You only get one chance to make a first impression, and such an event has transformed many a band into either a rupturing wreck or an awe inspiring exhibition that makes joe public take a big step back in astonishment.

The pressure is definitely on for Lucius Fox, a prog/math rock duo from Kalamazoo Michigan, USA. The group have been together since 2014 and have put out a grand total of 3 EPs plus one release made up of live improvisations. 

Their debut record, the 99% instrumental Cement Sun marks the result of material written between 2015 - 2017 and a band emerging after 4 months holed up in a recording studio. 

So will this Cement Sun fall straight to the ground or remain suspended above the earth while it bathes us all in it's positive glow? There’s only one way to find out…

Beginning with the striking ambience of ‘Stratovolcano’ the duo kick things firmly into formation with some adrenaline fuelled speed metal riffing injected with alien sounding guitar leads. It’s a bold opening gambit that leads perfectly into ‘Caged Bird’ which features Baroness guitar breaks and ends with the most positive breakdown you’ve ever heard. 

Up next, ‘Shapeshifter’ moves from attacking chords to a simple yet divine melody that ascends up to the heavens. It’s a real standout track for me and a grand demonstration of the band’s songwriting chops and musical diversity.

Featuring the only singing on the entire record, the attention grabbing centrepiece ‘Keith Green’ opens with a mist of guitar and plenty of David Gilmour licks to spare, then builds into a powerful surge of musical energy before dropping back to a featherlight, weightless riff. But the pounds are soon piled back on as distortion pedals are stamped on while the vocals soar majestically overhead. 

Songs like the title track and ‘Lake Effect’ show off the group’s complexity as well as their tranquility while not being afraid to throw the listener a few curveballs along the way.

Final track ‘Tunnel’ opens with an intricately crafted, dreamy first movement that soothes the mind before switching to some dazzling guitar work combined with powerfully crashing drums. Speaking of which, drummer Alex Guzman’s raging tub-thumpery during the emotional mid section is his finest moment on the record. A palm muted riff with spellbinding leads draws things to a climactic close and the Cement Sun has set.

It’s clear that Lucius Fox have upped their game since their last EP but I just can’t escape the feeling that parts of this record are longer than they need to be. While enjoyable and compelling, a few too many sections sound overcooked, a lot of the guitar parts have a very first take feel to them and the slight lack of variety in the drum fills causes the songs to drag their heels rather than to travel smoothly.

But with this constructive criticism taken with a pinch of salt, the duo are undeniably aiming for an original sound with plenty of exciting riffs and melodic ideas to go around and that in itself should not be ignored. 

Despite it’s shortcomings, Cement Sun is a debut for the two piece to be proud of, though it may not be an overflowing diamond mine, there are jewels to be found within it’s walls that deserve your attention and appreciation. 

A valiant effort and an exciting first chapter penned by a band you’ll be hearing a lot more from in the new year!

You can read an interview with Lucius Fox here

Saturday, October 7, 2017

RAVEN: Edgar Allan Punk

For not the first time, DMD finds itself in Serbia. This time in Čačak, a city located in the valley of West Morava to converse with Djordje Miladinovic, a 31 year old noisemaker best known for his harsh noise outfit Raven.

Damaging our hearing since 2011, Raven has released splits with some of the biggest names in the scene including Merzbow, Agathocles and Richard Ramirez as well as appearing on a multitude of labels such as Analog Cowboy, Depressive Illusions, Grey Matter Productions, Endless Landscapes of Decay to name but a few. 

With his frustrations at the world around him channeled furiously through screaming soundscapes which include topics such as anarchy, pacifism, human and animal rights, Raven's output of angry, brutal societal reflection sees no sign of decline.

I conducted a quick Q and A with Djordje through a brief exchange of emails to find out more…

Listen below to Raven's split with Richard Ramirez (Black Leather Jesus, Werewolf Jerusalem etc) 

DMD: As a child, what music did you grow up listening to?

Djordje Miladinovic: Punk rock music was my first exploration into the underground scene and I keep myself to the roots with a few exceptions such as harsh noise, noise, drone, ambient and other music and non-music genres. 

I always liked the aesthetics of punk, so I tried to implement them into everything I do. It's important to stay open minded when it comes to the music and I am always interested to listen to new stuff.

DMD: What instruments do you play?

DM: I have been playing guitar and bass for a very long time, but I would love to learn other musical instruments. Especially ones that give out much more strange vibes and sounds.

DMD: How did you first discover noise / experimental music?

DM: Through zines. A lot of them wrote about noise and experimental music at the beginning of the new millennia, so I managed to get some tapes from Hanatarash, Merzbow, Prurient... mostly harsh noise stuff and I was hooked on it.

DMD: Who are your current favourite noise artists?

DM: Lots of them. I really dig what most of the French, Japan and US noise artists have been doing in the past twenty years or so.

Nundata, Ecoute La Merde, Hanatarash, Vasectomy Party, Lord Gonzo, Hijokaidan, K2, Astro...just to name a few, but there's a lot of great noise projects that I listen to depending on my current mood.

DMD: What other projects do you have?

DM: Raven is my main project and for those who are not similar with the sound, it's a darker harsh noise based on anarchist, vegan and pacifist propaganda. 

A Disease Called Man is a dark ambient / drone project and I am currently working on the second album. Also, I have two harsh noise projects with Srđan Eftimovski (Nundata / Fecal Vomit) called Bhagavad Dita (harsh noise with mantras) and Vegan Fox (harsh noise). 

Desolation is my visual project based on avant garde artworks made of various textures, with the aim of reflecting decomposition and chaos. 

This year I published the first issue of Herbivore, a fanzine about veganism and animal rights. In my spare time I design cover artworks for bands, projects and the rest of the folks who dig my art.

DMD: What is your recording set up?

DM: BOSS GT-10 guitar processor is my weapon of choice for most of my recordings and live sessions. I am also using lots of Behringer distortion and delay pedals, because I find them effective, affordable and perfect for the sound I am looking for. As for effects, I prefer delay, sub wah, wah, chorus, harmonizer and pitch shifter.

DMD: What are your 15 favourite albums?

DM: Tough question since I listen to a lot of music, but here's something I've been listening to constantly for decades:

Bad Religion - Suffer
Ripcord - Defiance Of Power
Oi Polloi - Fightback
Dropdead - S/T
Detestation - Unheard Cries
Aus Rotten - The System Works For Them
Doom - Fuck Peaceville
Poison Idea - Kings Of Punk
Dead Kennedys - Bedtime For Democracy
Wolfpack - Lycanthro Punk
Uncurbed - Ackord For Frihet
Crass - Feeding Of The 5000
Rudimentary Peni - Death Church
Discharge - Hear Nothing, See Nothing, Say Nothing
Good Riddance - For God And Country

DMD: Have you played many shows outside of Serbia? 

DM: I've once played in Budapest, Hungary and twice in Slovenia at multiple venues. 

There were a lot of invitations from enthusiasts from across Europe and United States, but somehow time was always a problem to set up a tour.

DMD: What made you choose the name Raven? Edgar Allan Poe?

DM: I love Edgar Allan Poe a lot. He's my all time favourite writer but there are multiple reasons why I picked Raven as my alias. 

Raven symbolises anarchism, freedom, wisdom, longevity, tragedy and so many other things in a political and mythological sphere. 

A few of my friends thought that was not such a bright idea since there's a lot of artists who use Raven as a name for their projects and bands, but I felt it kinda suits the things I do with my own project.

DMD: What is the music scene like in Čačak? 

DM: It's kinda lame, because there was a lot of talented hard working bands and individuals in the past, but they couldn't get any attention, because the local public hates diversity and doesn't understand that underground music can be much more creative and smarter than music for the masses.  It's a very sad thing, because the people in the other spheres of creative art are getting the same treatment. 

DMD: How long have you been making noise?

DM: I’ve been recording noise for six years now. It's much more interesting than recording music, so I will continue to record it as long as I can. It's very important to have ideas for each release, so as long as I have ideas for new releases, I will record it and publish my work.

DMD: How long have you been vegan and what was it that made you become vegan?

DM: I've been vegan for 10 years and my decision to become vegan came after I realised how much harm meat consumption does to all living creatures, the planet and to ourselves. I always listened to music inspired by animal rights movement, so I got all the informations about it by reading the lyric sheets and bulletins that came along with those records. 

DMD: What do you do when you’re not making noise?

DM: I do alot of artwork for bands and projects, so I’m into graphic design, drawing... In my spare time I play guitar, read books, zines and comic books, but mostly I listen to music all the time. Also, my big passion is Star Wars collectibles. From books to comics.

DMD: Describe some of your favourite releases from Raven and your other projects.

DM: It’s very hard to pick a favourite one, because I put a lot of effort in all of them. It seems that each of my albums connect certain periods or events so they are all important to me.

DMD: Do you have a favourite book or movie? Also who are your favourite authors and directors?

DM: I am into dystopian, sci-fi, horror, criminal literature, so I mostly read something from Lucas,  Huxley, Burgess, Orwell, Lovecraft, King, Doyle, Christie, just to name a few. If I had to pick just one book that would definitely be a ''Clockwork Orange'' by Anthony Burgess, but of course there's a lot more. 

As for the movies, my favourite movie directors are Alfred Hitchcock, Stanley Kubrick, Sergio Leone, but I would definitely pick Star Wars as my favourite movies.

DMD: What can you tell us about your old noise blog Deadtones?

DM: Deadtones was a blog about avantgarde music genres which I worked on for a couple of years until Wordpress deleted it without a reason. It was a very popular blog at the time and I guess I will never achieve that goal with any other blog. 

DMD: Please tell us your favourite Serbian bands and noise projects 

DM: Most of the bands I love are disbanded right now, but there are a couple of noise projects who are still active and I love what they do, such as Fecal Vomit (Nundata) and Third I.  They've been my friends for a very long time and their projects have put out tonnes of good releases.

DMD: What does 2017 hold for you and Raven?

DM: The brand new split album with Crank Sturgeon is due to be released by Human Cross Records, the same label that will publish my brand new album entitled ''Freedom Has A Price''. 

A split release with Richard Ramirez was also one of my latest releases and it's available through Forever Escaping Boredom records. I'm planning a lot of other recording and live activities for the future, but sometimes everything depends on the time and effort of other people, especially if we're speaking about live performances.

Raven Links:

For more of DMD in Serbia click here to read an interview with Serbian HNW/ANW artist Dosis Letalis

Sunday, August 27, 2017


An hour's worth of handpicked and submitted music comprised of single or developing loops for your listening pleasure.

From the soft, dreamlike and blissful...

To the harsh, transcendent and ominous...

This is only the beginning...


1) Amulets - The Power Of Focus

Read an Interview here:

Listen here:

2) Bonechurch (USA) and Eccentricity (Serbia) - Just A Small Piece From An Endless Loop Of Desolation

Listen / Purchase cassette here:

Official bandcamps:

3) Kindred Spirits - Another Way to Die

Kindred has no official bandcamp but operates through here:

4) Sunshine Girl - Crushed Shell Clairvoyant Ghost

Read an Interview with Kyle Trujillo here:

Official bandcamp here:

5) dr0ne - Tularemia

Read an Interview with dr0ne (AKA Graham Williams) here:

Official bandcamp here:

6) Pale Hands - Secret Of The Forest (Remix)

A remix of the Yasunori Mitsuda track composed for the video game 'Chrono Trigger' that appeared on the currently unavailable Pale Hands album 'The Human Cost Of Building A Better Machine.'

Read an interview with PH guitarist / noise maker Daniel Cornejo here:

Official bandcamp here:

7) Austere - Coma

Released on the 2007 Album 'Withering Illusions and Desolation'

Listen / Purchase here:

A very apt picture of a Loop Pedal

Friday, June 30, 2017

Destruktionsanstalt: The Extremity Exhibition

“It’s the whole idea of doing some kind of soundtrack music that reflects the world we live in, a harsh reality that we in the western world choose to ignore on a daily basis.”

We head to Viborg, Denmark to meet with Per Najbjerg Odderskov, Post Industrial sound sorcerer and a fellow journalist.

Part of the old guard for nearly 20 years now, he rose to prominence as the brains behind experimental electronic / dark ambient outfit Lidane Livering, (which has been recently resurrected) and since 2015 he’s been building Destruktionsanstalt. 

A furious monster of a project described by Per as “Back to basics death-industrial with atmospheric psychedelic overlays”.

Per also keeps himself busy with other projects God Cancer and Left Hand of God
as well as exploring his funny side with The Gordon Ramsey Orchestra.

I had a quick chinwag with the man himself to find out his thoughts on current events, themes behind latest Destruktionsanstalt release “Ex Bello Volaptus” and how he is worming his way into the art world…

Listen below and you can read my thoughts on the album after this interview.

DMD: How did Destruktionsanstalt get started and from where does the name originate?
Per Najbjerg Odderskov: Destruktionsanstalt was an attempt to get into more extreme sounds, whereas Lidane Livering lies within the boundaries of ambiance and electronics. 

As for the name, I think I read it on the side of a truck driving by full of dead, stinky farm animals.
I remembered seeing a cow’s leg hanging over the side of it. A Destruktionsanstalt is a place where you burn dead animals which have died from a sickness. 

DMD: How is the scene in Denmark? 
PNO: Depends on where you are in Denmark, most of the stuff is happening in the capital (Copenhagen) and a few things are happening in Aarhus and Aalborg. Otherwise, it’s quite dead. 
Right now I’m living in Viborg, which was the capital in the really old days. 

I think I’m the only one here doing this kind of music. 80% of all people in Denmark doing some kind of "extreme" music make some kind of death /black metal mostly, 15% of which are doing Electronic / Industrial live in Copenhagen and the last 5% are spread across the other parts of Denmark.  

DMD: Growing up, what music did you tend to listen to?
PNO: Back in the late 80s as a kid I grew a general fondness of electronic based music, it was just way cooler than someone with a guitar. 
Why I had that view is beyond my understanding. I guess one of the reasons was growing up with a Commodore 64, and listening to the music coming from there. 

We had cracked games for it. These software pirates would leave their musical demos with the games. I fondly remember these low-bit cover versions of Kraftwerk, OMD and Depeche Mode. 
When I got older in the early 90s, early techno and house music were where my interest was. I think my first real influential idol back then was Aphex Twin, later on, I stumbled upon LFO, Orb, Biosphere, Model 500. 

There were the first artists who gave me the idea of producing my own music, so I had my first creations on my Amiga with a sampler. It was just some hardcore techno rhythms with a sample of Margaret Thatcher on top of it! 
All of a sudden I got fed up with the rave and love issues that were around techno and house music, and one day a good friend of mine got hold of this tape with a band called Skinny Puppy so that probably changed my direction at that time. 
This band blew my mind since I was already heavily into cyberpunk-based roleplaying games and of course horror based like Call of Cthulhu. 

To actually hear an act, which made this sort of in-your-face soundtrack thing just blew my mind. 
All of a sudden I was creating my own sounds on my newly bought PC. I was heavily inspired by the likes of Throbbing Gristle, Brighter Death Now and Scorn. That was in the mid 90’s when I made Fragments vol.1 (Lidane Livering).

DMD: How did you first discover the darker side of experimental with genres such as Dark Ambient / Noise /  Death Industrial etc?
PNO: When I decided that the extreme stuff was way more interesting than electronic body music and industrial rock, I was searching for whatever act that reminded me of Throbbing Gristle.

I stumbled upon this website/mail order underground thing, which sold all these weird-sounding acts which I didn’t know. 

They sounded interesting so I bought a couple of em, turned out that they were all released from Cold Meat Industry. It was Brighter Death Now, Raison D´être and In Blind Embrace (Controlled Bleeding side project). And again, it blew my mind. I was just thinking why the hell was I wasting my time on industrial-techno with guitars haha! 

Brighter Death Now was the most frightening and challenging shit I had ever heard, Raison d´être was incredible, beautiful and dark at the same time and In Blind Embrace combining powerful classical opera inspired music with harsh industrial aesthetics. 

That kind of stuff was soo fucking unique, so I kept my primary focus on this scene for many years!

DMD: What is your recording setup?
PNO: Following off whatever I learned from software on my Amiga and PC. 
Using Soundforge, Audacity, synth emulators, fields recordings and grabbing samples from movies etc.

DMD: Name 15 records you couldn’t live without
PNO: Aphex Twin - Selected Ambient Works vol.1

Throbbing Gristle - 20 Jazz Funk Greats

SPK - Leichenshrei

Brighter Death Now - Pain In Progress

Joy Division - Unknown Pleasures

Autechre - Amber

Ministry - Twitch

Caberet Voltaire - Code

Earth - Hex

Klinik - Time Plaque

Front 242 - Geography

Tangerine Dream - Stratosphere

Jean M. Jarre - Equinoxe

Atrax Morque - In Search Of Death

Megaptera - Extended Chaos

DMD: Tell us about your other projects God Cancer, Lidane Living and Left Hand of God
PNO: Lidane Livering explores heavy raw ambiance and cold rhythmic brutalism. The themes are mostly dealing with human-made atrocities to real life horrors. Otherwise, it deals in various post-industrial soundscapes. It was my first project, and it kick-started all my projects more or less. 

Left Hand of God started as an occult based esoteric ritual ambient act. Drawing ideas from NON, Archon Satani, and Ain Soph. 

Today, we´re dealing with a religiously inspired act which gets its ideas from the scene of HNW.
I’m thinking, the voice of a judgemental and all knowing god would probably sound to the human ear like a wall of some kind. That’s what I’m trying to do. 

God Cancer is a free based improvisational project which explores sounds and moods without boundaries. Not focused on any sub-genre or anything. 

DMD: What can you tell us about the new Destruktionsanstalt tape Ex Bello Volaptus?
PNO: It´s a more brutal, raw and heavy then former releases. 
The themes of the album also work within shocking taboos connected with death in one way or another. 
Victims of a serial killer, biological weaponry and its experimentations on humans, necrophilia etc…

Whereas former releases worked with sickness and the loss of a close family member. 
In lots of ways, it´s the heavier brother of Vivens Monumentis (released through Craneal Fracture records), which had a slightly more psychedelic approach I think. 

DMD: What inspires you to make music? 
PNO: Whatever I read or experience in the news mostly. It’s the whole idea of doing some kind of soundtrack music that reflects the world we live in, a harsh reality that we in the western world choose to ignore on a daily basis.

DMD: Back in August 2016 you released a cassette of two Destruktionsanstalt and Lidane Livering live performances what was your experience recording these? Do you have any plans for more live releases in the future?
PNO: This was without a doubt the best experience I have ever had, it was actually a music concert in classical terms. It was part of an art venue, where it all concerned sound and installation art. I was so lucky to know some insider people, so I managed to squeeze myself into the art-world. 

The audience was satisfied and bought some releases from me, so I was satisfied too. 
As for the moment, there are no plans for live performances. But I am keeping an eye for another opportunity. 

DMD: What can you be found doing when you are not making music?
PNO: Doing family man work. Cleaning, changing diapers, cooking, shopping etc ... And when I’m not doing that, I spend most of my time being tired at night while watching a supernatural or sci-fi themed series on Netflix over a beer or two. 

Besides that, I read a lot and am trying to find the time to listen to all of my records and tapes and stuff. 

DMD: What does Ex Bello Volaptus mean and what made you choose this title?
PNO: It means the results of war, whatever happens afterward if it all chooses to end which it sadly doesn’t.
A monotonous continuation which carries on like the constant bombardment of information overload.
All about being constantly fed with news about tragic and war, almost to the point of getting numb. 

Something which has been going on in a western democracy. "If we’re comfortable, then why should we concern about others. We have soldiers to do that kind of dirty work".
To me it´s also a reaction against being in the company of people being like that, just being "normal" and being unconcerned about everything. I find it frightening!

While young moms are drinking their caffe latte in a nice and fancy cafe, someone is having their kids ripped apart by militias. I just find it sickening. 
The only tracks on the album that don’t concern this are the last 2 tracks on the album. 
They work more or less like a 2-track EP. These tracks are about the connection between love and death more or less. I also used a sample/recording of a necrophilia trial that I got approval to use. 

DMD: What music do you enjoy listening to these days?  
PNO: These days. Always depends on my mood .. Think I’m still stuck with the dungeon synth and noise wall tapes .. Re-listening to Con-Dom and Grey Wolves, some moody post-punk bands from the 80s like Magazine, Gene Loves Jezebel and Fields of the Nephilim sort of stuff.

DMD: Tell us about your blog (
PNO: My Blog…Well, whenever I feel like reviewing a tape release I put something together. It’s focused on obscure electronic based tapes mostly, and moody stuff with an atmosphere, kind of dungeon synth and noise wall releases.

DMD: What does the rest of 2017 hold for you? 
PNO: So far, there is work to be done with God Cancer. I have some cassette releases with this project in the near future. I’m also holding an art exhibition in July at Aarhus artspace 2017, regarding a video and sound /art piece I’ve put together called ‘10000 Fahrenheit - Traffic Collisions’. 

DMD:  How did that all come about?
PNO: Well. At one point I was living somewhere in the sticks. I lived quite close to a road which had high levels of traffic and there was a lot of noise from lorries and trucks driving by. 

I wanted to document that in one way or the other, so I just laid my mp3 player up close to the road.
Afterward, I manipulated the recording and added some extra distorted layers to it. 

I downloaded a 60-minute video about car crashes in Russia, removed the audio, made it black and white and laid my own recording into the video itself.
Then some people I know mentioned that I ought to send it in to Aarhus Artspace, which I did and to my surprise they approved it. 

I’m going to show this installation on a big screen, in a pitch black room with the volume at total maximum. So it’s pretty much bound to overload your senses!

You can watch 10000 Fahrenheit - Traffic Collisions here

My thoughts on Ex Bello Volaptus

Moving swiftly away from the enthralling dark ambient work of previous album Swedenborg (which comes highly recommended if you haven’t already had a listen) Ex Bello Volaptus marks the combination of a slight return to the classic Destruktionsanstalt sound with rabid experimentation that looks to the future of the project. 

A difficult balancing act for sure, but can it be done? Let’s find out!

The sampling is back in a more prominent position, right there in plain sight on first track ‘Caedes' (the slaughter).

The record begins with an infamous clip taken from the 1969 movie Easy Rider, where Jack Nicholson pulls out a bottle of Jim Beam and declares “Here's the first of the day fellas, to ol' D.H. Lawrence” takes a swig, and well, you can hear what happens next…

Nicholson’s madcap reaction is quickly breached by a flood of heavily distorted synth stuck in a droning loop. The mass of gurgling sound is expanded by a handful of field recordings that have been laid about the place and some more unsettling noises also get added to the melting pot.

It sizzles loudly like a dish being prepared and at one point even replicates a computer mid dial up that someone has set on fire, when it reaches it's peak the gas is turned off and it all cuts back to the main ‘gurgle’ which suddenly whooshes off out of earshot.

Next up, Tacet Occidere (killing is silent) quickly changes the scene to a news report describing President Assad’s use of chemical weapons in the Syrian civil war.

Musically, the track’s base is full of low rumbles while the top layer features anxious sounding synths cut in and out and the use of delay makes them dash off into the distance which all helps to give the track a very frantic edge, matching well with the current mood of the war torn Middle East.

Cranking up the decibels, the intro for Salo (based on the film of the same title) offers a near deaf experience with a series of eerie tinnitus inducing sounds.

These are joined by an ethereal effect and a grating metallic hum, along with a children’s choir and a brass movement that all mingle within it’s patchwork, resulting in a well executed soundscape but it's one that your ear doctor would probably advise that you avoid. 

Centrepiece ‘Agony of Plasma’ is an extended reinterpretation of the same track by Australian Industrial giants SPK (which appeared on their 1982 album Leichenschrei).

Those already familiar with the track will instantly recognise the looped breaking glass and bloodcurdling screams, although in this case they haven’t been lifted from the original. There is good use of dynamics on this track and in my view does the SPK version justice, making it one of the album’s highlights.

Imperium Suffocatis (control of suffocation) kicks off with the use of pitch shifted helicopter blades manipulated into a brisk, unpredictable pulse that shape shifts rapidly while field recordings of background chatter that help to fill out the space.

Semper Amare (always love) brings back the dark ambience of Swedenborg this time with some very fine isolationist drone entombed in a glitchy static shroud. Left with it’s remnants to loiter ominously at the track’s end it’s a ghostly presence that makes for a spine tingling listen.

Final track Suggero A Mortuis (provides a dead) begins with samples a group of people discussing the actions of a necrophile before igniting a bristling wall of sound that rises and falls in tension, constantly hinting at some more ear damage that doesn’t arrive. Almost personifying that Destruktionsanstalt is a project that doesn’t thrive on predictability.

Overall it’s a punchy, diverse release with a strong creative flair running throughout it’s 37 minutes that continues Destruktionsanstalt’s ongoing evolution.

Being at an age where some critics would consider his musical contributions nothing more than desperate attempts to remain relevant, it’s excellent to see that this album proudly displays Per's never lacking enthusiasm for creating music that is all things uncompromising, unnerving and challenging.

Ex Bello Volaptus will be made available in physical form on the 6th of August.

Friday, June 16, 2017

The Second Discovery Channel...5 reviews (Goshen, Writhe and Phonophobia, Crescent Days, Traven, PTRKLLR)

Hello and welcome to another instalment of The Discovery Channel.

The part of the blog where I dish out reviews of my recent musical findings on ye olde internet and any blog submissions.

If you are a DMD regular then I can safely assume that you'll probably notice a few familiar names this time around, and if you discover something here that really grabs your attention and makes you feel alive (or dead, whatever floats your boat) then please support the artist/band/label in any way that you can.

In this second edition we have 5 inspiring releases covering such genres as:

Metallic Hardcore / Mathcore, 
Harsh Noise / HNW, 
Post Black Metal / Blackgaze, 
Experimental Ambient / Electronic,
Lowercase / Avant Garde.
The first Discovery Channel can be found here

Here we go...

Internet findings

Goshen - Demo
Introducing Goshen, a California based quartet who play a mixture of Grindcore influenced Metallic Hardcore and blazing Powerviolence tinged with Mathcore. This fearsome group released their first demo back in early February which has all the fiery unpredictable rage of a bull wounded at the hands of a matador. You can never be sure when or where the injured beast is going to lash out next.

Featuring the venomous vocals of Kyle Ferguson (also known for his noise project Misery Ritual and HNW project Statichor) a man of many voices. Whether it’s low grunts, angry barking, tortured screams or retching in absolute disgust he’s got it all down to a tee.

Beginning with a flare of feedback and drumstick count in ‘Cost of Life’ tumbles into being with wild drumming mixed with powerful riffs that accommodate a few angry bursts of noise. Ferguson can be heard belting out lyrics such as “my eyes aren’t as bright as they used to be” and “the insatiable curiosity has bled me dry” with throat scraping intensity and fist clenching conviction.

Next up, ‘Host’ drags out the inharmoniousness a little more, then restores heaviness before the band spiral into the sort of inferno Converge made their trademark. There is a brief aftershock moment, then they return to the twisted intro riff once more before ending. Crushing stuff.

Shortest song ‘Terminal’ is where the grind brownie points are won, going from an intro of sharp stabs between a Dan Lilker bassline then switching between low, brutal riffing and echoic guitar lines in under 30 seconds.

Before you know what’s happening the dissonance laden build up into closing (and my personal favourite) track ‘Cave’ has already begun, accelerating into a soft exhale of noise before the real brutality is unleashed seconds later.

Featuring lyrics that speak of permanently cutting oneself off from society it’s bound to resonate with anyone who craves their solitude. The untameable heaviness mixed with the frantic reverberating guitar is still the recipe for success at play here.

A short riff break that wouldn’t feel out of place on a Dillinger Escape Plan album explodes into pounding blast beats topped with another mega scream from Kyle. This soon brings us to a bridge section awash with tormented shrieks, and an eerie high pitched guitar played through an octave pedal that cranks up the uneasiness.

Goshen see themselves out on a devastator of a breakdown which ends with a pitch lowering effect, as if the universe simply can’t handle them and is forced to collapse in on itself.

In conclusion, Goshen have produced a demo chock full of perfected twists and turns that proudly flip the bird to anyone who would rather play it safe. With that in mind it’s difficult to digest everything on offer in one sitting, but with a length of just under 8 minutes it’s what repeat buttons were made for! 

Listen / Download here:

Writhe / Phonophobia split - Tomb
With US and Russian relations at an all time low, releases such as this are a testament to the fact that love and noise conquers all. ‘Tomb’ sees Writhe, a one man Drone / HNW project from Indiana teaming up with harsh noise / ambient music maker Phonophobia from Moscow.

Writhe kicks things off with ‘Forced Down’ a swampy marsh of slow, muddy guitar with plentiful use of whammy bar to up the disorientation that gets swallowed by the prickly static forces beneath it. Second track ‘Beaten’ treads a path to a similar fate, with a violent spasming sonic attack that gets buried in a thunderous harsh noise wall. 

‘Forgotten’ begins with the still crumbling dregs of the previous wall before topping it’s layers with a sliced distorted drone. It feels as if the wall is going to strip itself down when the top layer briefly disappears at the half way point, but it makes a comeback and remains unmoved for the rest of the track. An impactful and memorable opening trio for sure.

Phonophobia's one and only track ‘Three Pedals / Closed Doors’ starts out as a thick, mad buzz that transforms into a juddering noise elongation. It changes course to more of a scream before briefly returning to the naked buzzing once again.

Building into a vile cacophonous stream of consciousness and climbing up the loftier registers, the demented choir eventually hits the glass shattering high note, met with a short and stuttering effect that copulates into a drawn out, grinding mass of glitch while the note carries on regardless. 

The noise ensemble reaches it’s coda with one final enrapturing atonal sound that faces some digital interferences before cutting out. 

As a whole, ‘Tomb’ does a great job of ensuring all the frequencies have been covered. Writhe drills down into the most chasmic depths of earth while Phonophobia blasts off into higher altitudes of discordance, allowing both sides to compliment one another and making this pairing of artists a match made in harsh noise heaven!

Listen / Purchase CD here:

The incredible Reason Art Records sub label 'Minimalist Recs' can be found here

Also from Writhe:
Split with Harsh Noise Movement - ‘A tribute to Begotten’

Listen / Download here:

Also from Phonophobia:
6 way split 'Post Soviet and Harsh'

Listen / Download here:

You can read a review of Writhe's split with Macronympha here

Don't miss out on this recent static offering from RAR Label owner Sergey Pakhomov's project LEICHEN on Grey Matter Productions
Listen / Purchase cassette here:


Crescent Days - Unbloomed
Since forming in 2013, Germany / USA duo Crescent Days have been hard at work creating a hybrid sound of atmospheric, depressive and post black metal with shoegaze and ambient music.

Latest full length 'Unbloomed' marks the second time in the band's career where founding member Abraxas has written and recorded without partner in crime Sol, who at the time was unavailable to take part in the process. Sol's first full length effort in Crescent Days was 'On This Funeral Mourning' released on Depressive Illusions Records back in 2015. All instruments are played by Abraxas and the artwork was from an outside source.

Setting the tone for much of the record, ‘.daydream’ makes itself known with a melancholy clean intro that snowballs into a set of chords marred with a slightly dirtier tone, plus a rocky beat to match. Things move into a higher gear with the raw vocals making the first of their fleeting appearances while both guitars and drum kit are beaten into submission. After a strumming section and brief return to the beat from earlier we are left with a sorrowful exit.

‘Osnabrück’ is a slow, dancing duel of guitars that ring out like church bells that offer neither hopeful or tragic news, just a stoic numbness that I find rather beautiful. There are some enhancing sounds trying to fight their way to the surface of the mix but I cannot truly decipher if they are hands running across the guitar strings, vocals filled with despair, effect laden field recordings or all three. Either way, they add to the track's aesthetic rather than taint it. For an interlude it’s extremely soulful and remains one of my personal highlights on the album. 

‘Unbloomed' starts off with droplet like chords before getting swamped by distorted guitars and a hard beating of the snare ensues. Building up to a soaring, ear catching melody sitting atop crashing drums that soon quicken up their pace while the guitar stays unmoved, which I thought was a very nice touch. The percussion drops out, leaving both the rhythm and lead guitar tracks uncovered for a short period of time but then returns with more of a slow sway to fade.

Fourth track ‘Sol’ begins with the pedigree of darkened post metal riffing employed by post metal bands such as Amenra and proudly upholds the standard of majestic leads heard throughout this release.

‘Blossom’ shows off the group’s softer side once again, daintily strumming and adding extra harmonies to make an angelic chorus of sound. A sample of a couple breaking up turns this quite delightful track into more of an emotional ordeal.

‘To Wither And Decay’ brings the metallic edge back into the equation, and on ‘Violet Miasma’ you can hear the clean pickings you’d expect to hear on Pablo Honey / The Bends era Radiohead. 

Closing track ‘P Ä L E’ marks the return of the vocals, their harsh groans pouring out over heavy blasts of distorted chords and a pop driven motif. One final clean part cues up a repeat of the motif and the exhausted sounding vocals, which after disappearing subtly change into an epic closing section. All guitars ablaze on the final push which comes to an unexpected end with a hum of sleepy chord haze extending out to the edges of earth.

Unbloomed’s strengths lie in it’s gorgeous guitar leads and the rather unorthodox drumming, which at times operates as a separate entity rather than a tool of accompaniment.

Unfortunately, for me a handful of fragments and endings begin to feel a bit too similar, and an occasionally unforgiving mix doesn’t help matters either (though black metal was never a genre built on clarity of production). The lack of vocals also mean that the record’s sole reliance is upon instrumental passages which in some cases prove effective, but at other points feel barren and weak.

Despite not being quite as multi dimensional as their past work 'Unbloomed keeps the inventive streak and undeniable musical force that is Crescent Days intact with a stripped down vision that against all the odds still prevails.

Listen / Download here:

I had a quick word with Sol, who as well as being half of CD playing the parts of lyricist, co-producer, visual arts director and occasional ambient effects manipulator is also the brains behind the almighty netlabel and blog Sunn Monolith who have released some truly deafening and wondrous compilations under the title of 'Sun Heard'. 

DMD: Despite unbloomed being an enjoyable listen I found it rather sad not to have you onboard, is there going to be a record with both of you appearing together coming soon?
Sol: Without giving much detail, I'm talking to Sebastian (Abraxas) about releasing another version of unbloomed (which will have have a different track listing).

DMD: And what does the rest of 2017 hold for you guys?
Sol: Perhaps the rest of 2017 will see something of a surprise.

If you are in a band / project and are in need of artwork, Sol can be contacted for rates and more information here:

A small review of the duo's debut release from side project Lord Sun - 'Suncatcher’ can be found here

Also Try: Pathway to Inexistence
Listen / Download here:

Also try: Violetten Blüten EP
Listen / Purchase cassette here:

ЯTLLCTЯNCS - traven.
Currently residing on a section of fenced-off wasteland in the middle of a motorway intersection somewhere in Southern England is the experimental, ambient and electronic artist clad in mystery known as ‘traven.’ who has been transmitting what he describes as “strung-out pastoral execution music” since early 2016.

ЯTLLCTЯNCS (pronounced ‘ritual electronics’) is the project’s debut EP and another offering from high quality music purveyors Aetheric Records. This short but action packed effort boasts a set of 7 polished soundscapes ready to dive into and explore.

Opening track ‘t H e c A R F A x f R A G M e n T’ gets things started off heavily in dark ambient territory with ominous synths and cold piano tones striking the hour while field recordings tread lightly beneath. A wail of feedback breaks into a screech and the synths stand sharply upright in terror before dying down. It’s only the first track, but one can sense there are some sinister audio spirits at play here.

The darkness continues on ‘What is This Place We Are In’ looped arpeggios bring a further chill to the already icy air, the crack of spine shivering guitar strings helps paint a bewitching picture of a church graveyard at nightfall.

Standing in the pouring rain, (hade) restores peace with soothing synth parts and plenty of surface noise to pass around resulting in a drenched but relaxed number.

The downpour carries on into follow up and shortest track ‘#Noguchi's NUMB3Я5’ which has a strange atmosphere thanks to an ethereal looped effect and some even stranger sounding embellishments but still holds its own when compared to it’s much longer counterparts.

‘THE NEW RADIATI∞N .I’ is a bustling hive of activity featuring amplifiers buzzing, guitar chords crashing lazily like ocean waves while people and cars appear to be going about their day in the layers of field recordings.

A piano line switching between melancholy and mysterious at the drop of a hat, the surface noise going from fizzing to light crackles, a serving of uplifting synths and a short use of ricocheting sound all make ‘To Reach "The Invisible”’ an abstract but intriguing piece of sound art.

Closing track ‘3 - ЯK’ is a soft, peaceful drone with a few rattles and screeches happening on the roadside, as the drone begins to evolve into a bright and breathtaking audio cosmos it all gets quickly shut off by the sound of a single bird call. An ending very much outside the box, but traven. pulls it off with ease.

For only a debut it’s extremely progressive, palatable and promising. It’s shortness definitely makes it all the more accessible for newcomers with each track resembling a brief but enjoyable musical getaway. Evocative, sleek and highly atmospheric, ЯTLLCTЯNCS is all killer with no filler.

Listen / purchase CD here

You can read a review of another Aetheric Records release - this time it's Clive Henry's Hymns - here

PTRKLLR - Anatoma Tobeyoides
PTRKLLR is a Seattle based lowercase wall noise project, but if you fill in the vowels then you get the name of Peter Keller, a well known and respected face on the scene. 

But for those not in the know, some of Keller’s most notable efforts include: 
  • The Anti-gentrification Harsh Noise Wall colossus known as Condo Horro
  • Hosting supernatural atmospheric HNW séances in Geist
  • Opening up the crackling noise void with Dirac Sea
  • Contemplating our imminent doom through use of drifting noise walls from Unser Verhängnis
  • Spreading the hazardous harsh noise virus through a deadly organism called Bacillus

‘Anatoma Tobeyoides’ indicates the debut release of PTRKLLR. described by Peter as “an entry into a new label of minimalist sounds called ‘lowercase noise wall.’ ” The record sees Keller honouring two of his fellow countrymen, the first of which is sound artist Steve Roden and in particular his revered 2001 album ‘Forms of Paper’. 

The other is highly influential painter Mark Tobey, who rose to prominence during the Northwest School and Abstract expressionism art movements. Mark Tobey’s painting ‘Written Over the Plains’ is used as the record’s cover and the tracks have been gifted the names of some of his other famous works. 

The title of the record itself comes from a species of sea snail found off the south coast of Australia dubbed in recognition of Tobey.

I would say that while he has made it clear whom he is doffing his cap to on this release, Keller’s more organic approach as opposed to the ghostly, digitised tones heard on ‘Forms of Paper’ make for an impressive lowercase wall of sound, even if these walls are quite literally paper thin.

Opening track ‘Canticle’ starts off with a gravelly crumpling that sets the tone for much of this release before adding more layers to create a denser structure, made up of soothing scuffles and a wet rummaging that carries on uninhibited throughout it’s 25 minute duration. 

Second track ‘Bars and Flails’ has a rougher surface featuring more tears and shredding that build and drop in intensity and by the time ‘Advance of History’ rolls around the sound emissions have come to resemble light static rainfall.

Unfortunately I feel at this point I have spent my word bank on trying to describe the events heard on Anatoma Tobeyoides but I urge you to check out this recording for yourself and draw your own conclusions from it. 

But whether you’re drawn inside it’s aura of tranquility or left in a rather irritable state in dire need of harsher textures, there can be no doubt that this recording breaks new ground in the wall noise category. 

If it’s not too bold to say, I would declare ‘Anatoma Tobeyoides’ a triumph of modern minimalism and further proof that Reason Art Records is the gift that keeps on giving. 

In search of a fresh new sound? Ditch the pedals and pick up the paper!

I briefly caught up with Peter to find out more about this groundbreaking record…
DMD: What is your personal relationship with Mark Tobey and Steve Roden’s works?
Peter Keller: I heard "lowercase" music back in the early 2000s when it first coalesced. Steve Roden is the artist that coined the label "lowercase" to describe the minimal form of sound art that uses sounds normally unnoticed and amplifies them to bring them out. 

Richard Chartier, Francisco Lopez, and Bernhard Günter are some of my other favorites in this extreme form of ambient music. Their approach lead me to think that it can translate well into the realm of static minimalist sound.

Mark Tobey is a painter who lived here in Seattle that was influential in laying the foundation for abstract expressionism; his calligraphic forms that spread all the way to the edges of the canvas to me is very much the visual equivalent of static minimal walls of sound.

DMD: What was your experience of recording Anatoma Tobeyoides?
PK: Calming and meditative. The act of manipulating paper during the recording was almost a ritual, as well as a meditation on the act of labor itself. 

While lowercase as a genre focuses on bringing to the fore the unheard sounds, the act of recording these tracks brings to focus the minor acts of work itself, and of entering the moment and staying with it while having a dialogue with the physical objects.

DMD: Will there be any more PTRKLLR releases this year? 
PK: The next album will be out on Nahàsh Atrym Productions later this year as soon as I'm done recording for it, other recordings are being planned and labels approached, so we'll see what this year brings, it's been a productive one so far.

Listen / purchase CD here:

A remastered version of Steve Roden’s Forms of Paper is available to listen to here

Thanks for reading!