Monday, November 9, 2009

A Long Overdue Update From Archive

Likely due to slow sales and downturn of the economy, Archive CD has been relatively quiet this year for releases. But as long as Scott Slimm doesn't fold up shop, I don't mind the sparse release schedule.

The Goslings return with a collaboration effort. From the Archive website: "Originally released as a 5 track small run collaborative CD between the Goslings and Roxanne Jean Polise recorded in 2004-05. The current resurrection of this release features 4 of the original tracks with an actually proper mastering job from James Plotkin. The backend of the disc features 4 new traxs that were cultivated between the Goslings and Warmth (name change for the mid-west Steev Thompson) between 2007-08."

This release takes them back to their earlier days with more sparse instrumentals mixed in the crushingly dense riffs. Unlike similar groups (*cough* Nadja *cough*), The Goslings keep the quality high on every release.

Almost every batch of releases has an artist I've never heard before and this time it's from Purling Hiss, a project from Birds Of Maya's guitar player. A combination noise rock, garage rock and psych rock make this a joy of a listen. It the type of album that's different from the rest of the Archive catalog yet it fits perfectly. A nice surprise with this one.

From the Archive distro I picked up one of the new Suishou No Fune albums 'Phantom Of The Eternal Night'. It's a full band effort on this one and each of the four 15+ minute songs is a trip.

Monday, October 12, 2009

An Even Longer Overdue Update

Not too long after my last post the house market in San Diego County had tanked and I began a quest to find a house to buy. So not much happened during the period regarding music purchases. I'm still getting a monthly 7" from Sub Pop and started a second monthly series with Volcom Entertainment. Other than that, my music purchases are few and far between these days.

There have been some great albums released. The new one from Alice In Chains was a nice surprise. I had no expectations for it and think it's a well done album. They work in the new guy nicely over the course of the record.

The new Porcupine Tree album is a long concept piece that has excellent variation over the course of the 55 minutes. Looks like Deadwing was their only bump in the road.

Sunn O)))'s 'Monoliths & Dimensions' couldn't have a better titled as the album has both in spades. I'm really liking where they went with the collaborations and new instrumentation.

Clutch's new one hasn't quite clicked with me like their last two albums but it's a solid effort.

The Mars Volta have finally released something that is relatively accessible while still retaining their sound. A solid album but I think the Omar Rodriguez-Lopez Band is the real new TMV album since it's pretty much the same band and is all over the map.

Big Business' first album as a trio is good but I dislike one of the tracks and it's a short album so I'm not quite in love with it like their last album.

Les Claypool's latest has a weird, organic percussion sound that shows some progression from his other solo albums.

A couple fine records from Cave and Eternal Tapestry round out the new purchases with some quality psych-rock jams. I think I'm liking this year better for music.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Long Overdue Update

A new batch of Archive discs arrived earlier in the week. Being the Archive fanatic that I am, I bought the limited edition LP+CD for the Hasegawa & Igler release and the lathe cut 7"+CD for the Zaika release. Some excellent instrumental music from both. Hasegawa & Igler create some noisey, psychedelic-like sounds that go to the verge of harsh noise but they manage to keep it listenable. Zaiaka is the duo of Tom Carter and Marcia Bassett who create some spacey, haunting sounds.

Other new music arriving was the huge double LP, single CD release by Three Lobed of Sunburned Hand Of The Man's 'A Grand Tour Of Tunisia'. The CD is a live set called 'London Zero' that features some Beat-like poetry with sparse instrumentation throughout. The double LP on the other hand is a free folk, psych-tinged adventure. I also picked up the new Mastodon album with the DVD that has a documentary on the making of the album. It's a different sound from them as they were going for a classic progressive rock sound.

From Sub Pop's subscription series, singles from Arthur & Yu, Tyvek and Circle have showed up. I started a new 7" series with Volcom Entertainment and the first edition is a split between Kandi Coded and Valis.

On the gear front, I've added a Agile 2000 guitar to the mix. It's a Gibson Les Paul style guitar with a flamed top. For effects pedals, I've added the Devi Ever Bit and MXR Bass Auto Q Wah to the mix. I built up a Cream Pie boost/overdrive and combined it with a clone of Electro-Harmonix's Mole/Hog's Foot bass boost. I've found it to be a great combination that works very well with my fuzz pedals. I'm also working on an original project that generates different waveforms where you can modulate the amplitude and frequency.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

My Top Albums Of 2008

Since I forgot to post them in January, here is the list of my favorite albums of 2008, listed in alphabetical order.

Bass Communion - Molotov And Haze
Black Mountain - In The Future
Brant Bjork - Punk Rock Guilt
Causa Sui - Summer Sessions Vol. 1
Colour Haze - All
Dozer - Beyond Colossal
Earth - The Bees Made Honey In The Lion's Skull
Grails - Take Refuge In Clean Living
LSD Pond - LSD Pond
Nachtmystium - Assassins: Black Meddle Part 1
Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds - Dig, Lazarus, Dig!!!
Runhild Gammelsaeter - Amplicon
Silver Mt. Zion - 13 Blues For Thirteen Moons
Sitaar Tah! - Semimimimimin
Spiritualized - Songs In A&E
The Black Angels - Directions To See A Ghost
The Mars Volta - The Bedlam In Goliath
Torche - Meanderthal
Ufomammut - Idolum
Victor Wooten - Palmystery

Favorites that were not a full length album...

EPs/7"s of year:
Om - Gebel Barkal
Howlin Rain - Wild Life
GHQ - Everywhere At Once
Black Boned Angel & Nadja - Christ Send Light
Blues Control - Snow Day

January Roundup

I forgot to chronicle my music purchases for January so I'll fix that in February. From Robotic Empire's distro arrived the last full length album from Raccoo-oo-oon. Sad news for me as they've become one of my favorite bands in the past year. Also arriving was Nachmystium's vinly-only release Eulogy IV. It's not as good as they album they released in 2008 but it's still some of the better black metal I've heard.

From All That's Heavy were some fantastic albums. Luckily for me Burning Saviour's debut album has been reissued after missing out on it and then not being able to find a copy elsewhere. I finally was able to pick up Ogre's new album which is an epic 35+ minute track of classic rock inspired traditional doom metal. Some new material from Los Natas has made it's way to a 10" split with side project Solodolor in a nicely done vinyl package. Elektrohasch has reissued Los Natas' epic second album on vinyl as well, 'Cuidad de Brahman'. It's one of my favorite albums of the genre so I had to have it on wax. For a freebie I picked up Abdullah's self-titled album after hearing that they were calling it quits.

On the 7" club front I received the last from Volcom Entertainments 2008 vinyl series, a split between Valient Thorr and HR. Sub Pop's latest in their 3.0 series were two new tracks from Finland's Circle.