Different Noises Podcast #2

Music keeps coming in, a lot of it not fitting nicely into an easy genre hole, so it ends up here. As usual, around two hours of music with no chat from me. Outline notes on each item, or a link to a news piece on here, are provided:

  1. Phal:Angst – Whiteout – Whiteout
  2. Obelyskkh – The Ultimate Grace Of God – The Ultimate Grace Of God : the German psychedelic doom/sludge metal goliaths returns with their fifth album, and first in over five years, through the band’s long-running allies at Exile On Mainstream. Having remained quiet in recent years, they celebrated a brilliant return at the South Of Mainstream Festival in September 2022. The show, which consisted only of new material, already showed clearly where the sonic journey was going: the psychedelic elements faded into the background and make way for increased pressure and a furious reckoning with noise and slamming riffs, focused, direct, and without frills. The new album is a child of the times and its challenges, whose story began in April 2017 with a walk through Antwerp: In the middle of an uninviting district with cold-looking apartment blocks, there is an unassuming, run-down hair salon with the words “THE ULTIMATE GRACE OF GOD” emblazoned across the shop window. The idea for the next album was born. At the time, no one could have guessed that it would take almost five years from then until the idea for a physical release was implemented. When their second guitarist left right before the release of their prior album, The Providence, they had to restructure. They remembered the punk attitude of the early days and decided to pick it up again as a classic bass/guitar/drums power trio. Influences from old noise heroes such as KARP, Todd, Jesus Lizard, and the Melvins became more noticeable when writing the new songs and they were written just as quickly as they were direct. A studio was found. A test recording by Moe Waldmann and Seeb Gerischer in the Mach Ma Mecker recording studio in the remote solitude of the Franconian town of Breitengüßbach convinced everyone involved. Rosy future. New album almost in the can. It could start. Then, Corona hit… Several studio dates were repeatedly postponed due to contact bans, until a small Summer gap finally opened. In a week, the trio pounded The Ultimate Grace Of God in, live and raw – a few overdubs here and there, followed by gorgeous mastering by Brad Boatright at Audiosiege Studios the albumwas done and waiting to be released. The cover art was created by an AI, fed with keywords from their lyrics. But Corona was still there. A year passed and the album was gathering dust in a drawer. Then came the energy crisis. Then came inflation. The beer got so expensive that there was no money left to finish the album. And in no time at all it was 2022. But what underlies through it all: the band is tough, just like the music: a loud, angry hunk of noise. And despite all the crises, the hair salon in Antwerp is still styling.
  3. Atsuko Chiba – Sunbath – Water, It Feels Like It’s Growing : Montreal’s Atsuko Chiba venturesomely crosses genre-defining borders with a cohesive and hypnotic blend of post-rock, progressive rock, and krautrock, weaving together a rich sonic tapestry that subverts through offbeat songwriting. The psychedelic armada is back with Water, It Feels Like It’s Growing (January 20th, 2023), unearthing a fierce collection of droney, yet bombastic compositions
  4. Ambient Monkeys – Trance 4 Now – Interdimensional Being : Michael Moryc and Denny Joisa delivering a combination of guitar and tongue drum.
  5. Frank Paul Schubert, Kazuhisa Uchihashi and Klaus Kugel – Black Holes Are Hard To Find – Black Holes Are Hard To Find : SCHUBERT UCHIHASHI KUGEL are master architects who can combine eclectic and polystylistic themes, abstract ideas, stories and mini-dramas into a unified statement, and than let it sound symphonic, orchestral, cinematic, chaotic and aggressive—even toying with a child-like song theme. All this in a matter of seconds, before spicing it up with tension-filled passages or provocative soothing moments before climaxing in maelstrom-like eruptions. The affinity between the three players is especially amazing, considering the all-improvised nature of this music, and when all three lock in, the music becomes breathtaking
  6. Yabby You & Trinity – Gwaan & Lef Me (12inch mix) – Dread Prophecy : a retrospective set of his work
  7. Magick Brother & Mystic Sister – Les Vampires – Magick Brother & Mystic Sister : Eva Muntada – piano, synthesizers, organ, mellotron & vocals: Xavi Sandoval – bass & guitars; Maya Fernández – flute; & Marc Tena – drums & vocals. Proggy trippy music from 2020.
  8. All Them Witches – Hush, I’m on TV – Baker’s Dozen : American rock band from Nashville, Tennessee. The band consists of drummer Robby Staebler, vocalist/multi-instrumentalist Charles Michael Parks Jr., guitarist Ben McLeod, and keyboardist/multi-instrumentalist Allan Van Cleave. The psychedelic blues-prog rockers’ 2022 single series, compiled in one release.
  9. Neverland Ranch Davidians – Butts In My Beer – Neverland Ranch Davidians
  10. Dislocation Dance – You can’t beat history – Unzipping The Abstract : early track from a Manchester Musician Collective compilation from 1980
  11. Luciano Bagnasco – Poniente – Procesos cruzados : solo electric guitar from this Spanish artist.
  12. Matteo Uggeri and Cricket on the Radio – When You Fall Down, You Fall All the Way Down – All the Way Down :This album is the result of a collaboration between long-time friends Stefano Santabarbara (aka My Dear Killer, from now on Cricket on the Radio) and Matteo Uggeri (member of Starlight Assembly, Open to the Sea and Sparkle in Grey). It’s mostly built on the weird melodies of MDK acoustic guitar and Uggeri’s samples and field recordings, along with noisy textures provided by MDK as well, on electric guitar, and other collaborators, such as Andrea Serrapiglio at the cello and Alessandro Sesana at the trumpet.
  13. Thought Bubble – Neon Garden – Nowhere : Thought Bubble are an alt electronic duo, based in the Shropshire hills of the UK. Their music veers in a haphazard manner into various noisy genres almost with a mind of its own. Having spent the last decade or so, as members of various psych and space rock bands on the psychedelic rock festival circuit, keyboardist Chris Cordwell and percussionist Nick Raybould had maintained Thought Bubble as their cherished side project. DJs and podcasters for psych and prog radio shows continue feed their audiences their tracks. For ‘Nowhere’ the core Thought Bubble duo have again pulled in the services of various fellow travelers to augment several of these new pieces. Guitarists Shaun Bailey of MonkeyTrial and Rob Williams of Babal can both be heard and savored elevating the sonic ceiling, as can film and TV actor Pablo Raybould and singer Laura Pickering
  14. Neon Kittens – SnowBEAST – Van Gogh’s Ear for Music EP : teasing the forthcoming album with this excellent tracks
  15. Death Valley Girls – Occupation: Ghost Writer – Darkness Rains – At the core of Death Valley Girls, vocalist/multi-instrumentalist Bonnie Bloomgarden and guitarist Larry Schemel channel a modern spin on Fun House’s sonic exorcisms, ZZ Top’s desert-blasted riffage, and Sabbath’s occult menace. On their third album Darkness Rains, Death Valley Girls churn out the hypercharged scuzzy rock every generation yearns for, but there is a more subversive force percolating beneath the surface that imbues the band with an exhilarating cosmic energy. There debut album from 2018
  16. Seven Rivers of Fire – Crossing the Abyss The Magician’s Journey – Hail Star of the Sea!
  17. Space Museum – Astral Fortnights – Halcyon Days : the second track from the half finished new album

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