Thursday, May 7, 2009

Entirely Inappropriate for the preemptive summer

This week has provided me with the opportunity for much late-night headphone revelry, spinning off into half-waking dreams, with nocturnal sounds caressing me. Busted out some perennial favorites, that i always bust out when its 3 a.m. and i can't sleep.

Photobucket Bohren & Der Club of Gore is what you get when Doomheads play jazz. Sounding like a Bernard Hermann soundtrack for driving around, looking for a place to dump the body, or a sleazy rainy night on the Vegas Strip. Angelo Badalamenti references are unavoidable. This is mood music, chipping off sonic slivers of the same obsidian block, rather than writing memorable 'songs'. Put it on, let it sweep you away into their world, and move you to the depths of yr creepy soul.

Photobucket I took the initiative to bust out an old, moldy classic. Swans' last album, it is the summation of everything that had strived to accomplish. It is astonishing to see how far they had travelled from the rusted metal cacophanies of their earliest work, to how detailed and subtle this record can be, building up to a churning power-house that was the sonic cathedral of the Swans' at their best. 'Soundtracks' features some of Jarboe's most harrowing vocals in her career, which is no mean feat, and it also contains the seeds of M. Gira's post-Swans work, The Angels of Light. It is a fitting document to where they were going, and what they had done, neatly encapsulating their philosophy of flesh vs. spirit.
This record would serve as prototype for later post-rock, doom metal, and drone, sounding particularly prescient on tracks 'Red Velvet Wound', 'I was a Prisoner in Your Skull' and 'The Sound'. One of the earliest exposures i had with these styles of music that have haunted me like a spectre, through-out my 20s, this album has a special place in my heart. The opener of the way. It remains a visceral listening experience, truly frightening at times, making my hair stand up on end. Not easy to do, on these callous ears!
So check 'em out, if you haven't already. If you have, dust 'em off and give 'em another go. As the poet H.D. said in a letter to Freud, 'We Are All Haunted Houses.'

Black Earth: part 1 part 2

Soundtracks for the Blind

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