Thursday, February 10, 2011

Skullflower - Orange Canyon Mind

In 2005, the wire magazine described Matthew Bower's intimidatingly huge discography as "map co-ordinates for much of what passed for a post-punk UK underground during most of the '80s and '90s". I mean, seriously, this guy has done it all, he has done LOTS of it, he has done it 20 years ahead of his time, and has done and is still doing it better than those that are doing it today. There's something about those that had their tentacles in the UK '80s Industrial/Noise scene that is just so vital and immediate. Perhaps it was the sense of exploration, and of overcoming adversity, in spite of public opinion, that just made them rabidly hardcore.

I feel like Skullflower, Bower's incarnation after he hung up the
Total moniker, is the missing link between the '80s Broken Flag, power-electronics scene, with the likes of Ramleh and Whitehouse, and the noisy-drone rock brought on by the Dead C and Sonic Youth and a million offshoots operating today. Perhaps it is straddling numerous traditions that makes Skullflower's work some much more engaging than the host of imitators. A wider pallette to draw from, more chartreuse and ochre than the monochromatic seriousness of much of the noise underground.

This was probably the first drone rock record i heard, and it maintains a special place in my heart and record collection. I was dumb struck by the magnitude of the sound, the monolithic guitars and pummeling machine rhythms. It became a favorite past-time of mine to walk around, ensconced in headphones, letting Skullflower, the dead c, or black boned angel eradicate all thought. I also discovered that i liked to paint and draw, listening to this music, and it is this atmospheric quality which continually compels me towards such impressionistic, abstract works of art and music. Like a force of nature, constantly shifting and evolving, impossible to pin-down, and different every time. It will erode yr mental barricades, and irradiate you with the divine source. It will change you, inexplicably, if you let it.

Highly Recommended

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