“He says, staring through the open abattoir doors: “There it is clearly in front of you, broken open, sliced apart. And there’s the scream as well, of course! If you listen, you’ll catch the scream as well. You will still hear the scream, even though the facility for the production of the scream is dead, is severed, chopped up, ripped open. The vocal cords have been rendered, but the scream is still there! It’s a grotesque realization that the vocal cords have been smashed, chopped up, sliced apart, and the scream is still there. That the scream is always there. Even if all the vocal cords have been chopped up and sliced apart, are dead, all the vocal cords in the world, all the vocal cords of all the worlds, all the imaginations, all the vocal cords of every creature, the scream is always there, is always still there, the scream cannot be chopped up, cannot be cut through, the scream is the only eternal thing, the only infinite thing, the only ineradicable thing, the only constant thing”. Thomas Bernhard, Frost
Keepsakes – “Puerile Politics”
[Haven Փ Techno – Industrial]
James Barrett is the two-headed creature behind the Keepsakes entity and the newly formed Haven label – which has already released a VTSS extended play. Through the former, the British has been regularly dropping 12-inch EPs with blotto, fabric-grooves that keep its techno curlicue as non-cursive as possible. The block script “Puerile Politics” is the most recent; straight-to-the-point material. An iron-made rhododendron with contagious abilities, whose taxonomical origins may be traced back to the Sandwell District crew, having nonetheless its own coldbloodedly perspective of things. Short but predatory.
Couch Slut – “Take A Chance On Rock ‘n’ Roll”
[Gilead Media Փ Punk | Noise Rock]
The allegiance between Couch Slut and the Brazilian artist Leandro DeCotis proved to be a winning combination right from the start – notwithstanding, the overpowering and explicit artwork for “My Life As A Woman” became almost the raison d’être for any conversation on the band, relegating the music to the background. And that is anything but fair. Couch Slut‘s scornful approach to punk is good enough to stand on its own feet. Their anti-modern society emoluments remain as caterwauling as ever in their third full-length, now acquiring almost Brainbombs tonalities with a trumpet suddenly popping up in “I’m 14”, just to be followed by a much unexpected nocturne-like piano intermission. Uniform‘s Michael Berdan contributes to the whole lambasting atmosphere in “The Stupid Man”, making him closer as ever to his former Drunkdriver life.
Gersemi – “Apsaras”
[Janushoved Փ Ambient]
Gersemi was one of the very first corpuscles to emerge as part of the Janushoved biosphere, with the remarkable cassette “Chiudere Gli Occhi” in 2016. One of the many confabulations nurtured by the mind of Susanne Mouritsen has now reappeared with “Apsaras”, again proving and augmenting her legerdemain in all-things-ambient. Thirty-four minutes of idyll bliss, akin to drowning in the sea to forever sleep in its bed.
Violent Christians – “No Speed No Punk!”
[Roachleg Records Փ Punk]
Now, this a truism if I ever saw one: if there’s no speed, you can have no punk. I’m no teetotaler edgy guy, so the first part of the enunciation may even have two meanings, both totally acceptable when listening to Violent Christians. A concise, riot-propelling 80s-inspired demo from this Austin outfit to fix your dive bar & brawling needs while you wait for the virus to die down so you can get the clam.
Amnutseba – “Emanatism”
[Iron Bonehead Փ Black Metal]
The stuff a seismographic is afraid of. When staring at its frontispiece, “Emanatism” is a malevolent potpourri of all things evil in black metal. But we must keep delving into it just to encounter dark festoons of noise, a putrid atmosphere and left-hand cacophonous axioms that you may connect with entities such as Skáphe or Portal. Surely this is not you go-to black metal edible as it can hinder any less-equipped digestive system – even when “clean” vocals appear like humane prayers in “Ungrund”, an incessant madrigal of riffs immediately ensues. It’s demanding but the secretive Amnutseba proves that they deserve the effort.
Robin Stewart – “Time Travel”
[The Trilogy Tapes Փ Techno | Dub]
He is fifty percent of Giant Swan, accountable for one the very best 2019 releases. In this short solo exercise, Robin Stewart removes all the unnecessary electronic balderdash, submitting techno structures to an almost hypothermic condition. Just to then decorate them with dub elements, weaving a late-night piebald kaftan that may be reminiscent of the dark ambiences by Demdike Stare. It would definitely be interesting to see Robin taking this approach into a full-length format.
Bambara – “Stray”
[Wharf Cat Փ Post-punk]
If you want to put your money where post-punk is, often there are two ways of playing the game. You either opt for the peignoir isolationism of those guys who were once called Warsaw, establishing a black & white balustrade between you and the others; or you may turn it all into a languid one-on-one coquetry, like chaperones of love and heartbreaks to come. Bambara is clearly part of the latter group (you can imagine Iceage or Nick Cave dancing in there as well) and they do it masterfully, to the point where you can even imagine “Sing Me To The Street” sung by Leonard Cohen (buon’anima) “Waiting For A Miracle” style.