Two of the finest practitioners of unsettling and enveloping audioscapes team here for varied takes on drone, noise, and sonic wrangling.
Alabama’s Clawing is a collaboration between the prolific trio of Jeff McLeod (Gezoleen, Saragashum, Bert) Austin Gaines (Calques, Hadals, Japanese Women), and poet / spoken word artist Matt Finney (It Only Gets Worse). Their work here is an expansion on the ghostly world conjured on their masterful debut, Spectral Estate, with an unsettling aura that rests atop a current of anxiety and contemplation.
Offerbeest is one of the many guises for Dutch artist Maurice de Jong, perhaps best known for his work in the twisted black metal / experimental terror that is Gnaw Their Tongues. With Offerbeest, Maurice relies on analog synths to conjure bleak passages through demon haunts. High quality cassettes (edition of 100), digital downloads and streaming courtesy of Portland’s Nailbat Tapes.
The upcoming Clawing/Offerbeest split is now up for preorders at Nailbat Tapes. Get two downloadable tracks now, and the full digital release and cassette when it comes out on June 1. Clawing is my noise/drone/soundscape trio with Austin Gaines (Calques, Japanese Women) and Matt Finney (It Only Gets Worse, Heinali), and Offerbeest is Mauric de Jong (Gnaw Their Tongues). 4 tracks from each.
Also, I’m putting the finishing mastering touches on Joyless Noise, Vol. 5. Austin Gaines is once again doing the artwork. 4 songs lost in deep space on a doomed ship. More info soon…
Dead Dream City, my split CD with TN’s Degtras is available now from Wood & Stone Productions. The disc features 2 longform tracks of darkest drone and deep, pummeling synthesis to rattle your brain. Degtras’ Road To The Dark City puts you on the bleak highway, and my Thomas Ligotti-inspired Nethescurial heralds your arrival in the dead city.
You can order the limited run CDs direct from Wood & Stone, or contact me here to get the right from me. If you’d like a copy, definitely hit one of us up, as they are just about sold out. Digital downloads and streaming are available on Bandcamp.
2 cassettes and a split with Offerbeest are on the horizon from my noise/drone/spoken word group Clawing (Austin Gaines, Matt Finney, Christopher Davis, et al) as well. More info on that as it all comes together.
I also have two new songs on the game soundtrack/gamplay radio station for the horror boardgame magazine Freakface!!! My tracks are Skeletal Reflection 1 & 2 and are presented under the name Joyless Noise.
Thanks for listening!
And they are just sounds. Not just any old sounds–but just sounds, really, after all. Different arrangements of synthesis presented in very raw form. These are the final reports from me, soundwise, for the year. I plan to do more Joyless noise and related volumes next year. I also plan on finishing up a long-dormant noisework called Randy & Gary recorded with my friend Jim Tankersley many years ago. But back to the recently-finished Now . . . now.
The first of the last is the third in a series of Joylessly Noisy musicks. Joyless Noise, Vol. 3 is the most joyless of the bunch, I believe. It’s also the least noisy, but that doesn’t mean that it’s any less unfriendly.
Downloads of Joyless Noise, Vol. 3, of course, are free or pay-what-you-want.
The second of the last is a split cassette release with Montreal’s Drub on Cuchabata Records. Two sides of intense drone. My track takes up side B (the empty black side). It’s a 28-minute grind down into an emptiness called “Thoss.” The tapes are available from the Drub site and through the player below. They’re a hand-numbered edition of 50, and include a digital download of the recording. You can order from the above folks, or contact me directly in the U.S. I should have my copies later in the month. Downloads, once again, are free or pay-what-you-want.
I’m also in the process of doing a better job of updating my personal website, as well as trimming it down to something very minimal. Feel free to visit there any old time, and write to belittle me as I fail to update it again for 3 or 4 months.
I’ve got a new short story up on The Five Hundred writing group site. It’s called Normal Horrible. I’ll go on and tell you that there’s a crummy oversight in proofreading on my part that completely ruins the story. Feel free to write me and make me feel shitty about that also.
That’s it. Mostly just some music to help you through the holidays.
I’m happy to let you know that my latest recording is now available! It’s the second volume in my Joyless Noise series, and it’s on my Bandcamp site for listening or downloading for a simple, virtual one-dollar bill. This one was mostly created with two analog synths–an Arturia MicroBrute & a Moog Voyager (a nice pair!), but I threw in a little lush nastiness with Wolfgang Palm’s Wavemapper and an Ensoniq Fizmo. There are four tracks on Joyless Noise, Vol. 2, and a couple of them are quite long developments. As with Joyless Noise, Vol. 1, I’d encourage folks to listen at jacked-up volumes or through some nice headphones to get the full effect. Art & design was once again created by Austin Gaines, who always kicks ass and always nails the spirit of the music each and every time.
As always, I appreciate your ears and your support.
I spent this Halloween with Alice Cooper . . . and, man, was it a good time!
Alice put on a really fun & fantastic show at The Montgomery Performing Arts Center here in Montgomery, AL. Not too long ago, I saw Alice open up for Iron Maiden in Atlanta, and, at the time, I was really surprised by his band and how well they played all his older material (which is my absolute favorite of his work). This same band backed him up here in Montgomery the other night, and the show was even better than what I’d seen previously. While I think his best material is on his first 7 albums with that singular “Billion Dollar Babies” lineup, I must admit that the show I saw this Halloween was a complete blast. Absolutely zero nonsense, with song after song played very well, and Alice’s voice in fine form. MPAC is a great venue to see Alice perform in, too. Not a bad seat in the house, great sound and a really professional staff. Such a good time! If he rolls back through here again, I will definitely be back. After all, it’s ALICE COOPER! Someone who has weathered every musical era from the ’60s to present day . . . shifting and changing, but always doing that unique thing that only Alice Cooper can do. Truly oft-imitated and really only poorly-duplicated, when it comes right down to it.
For listening of late, I’ve really been getting into a couple of noise releases.
The first is from Montgomery’s own Japanese Women. Quality Control is the name. Vicious, seething noise rock is the game. I listen to this release over and over, and my blood is always boiling by its end. Good stuff and a wild, quick 13-minute listen. Throw all the amps in a hay-baler along with the singer and tie it all together with a drummer blasting along beside the bloddy machinery! Great!
Give yr ears a good wringing out, get yr brains bashed in and check out all their releases on their Bandcamp page. You can also get Japanese Women cassettes direct from their label, the excellent Tapes Of A Neon God. Tons of well-done noise releases there.
Alongside Quality Control, I’ve really been enjoying a new collection of songs from Nashville, TN’s Pornography. Anderson from Pornography runs the aforementioned Tapes Of A Neon God, and the 5 songs assembled on this CD from Speed Ritual Records were all previously released on Pornography’s Bandcamp page. Walls of guitars, pounding programmed drums, howling distorted vocals . . . all unleashed with complete venom over crawling, dirgelike frameworks. If you appreciate the ugliness on early Swans recordings, Pornography will be your new best friend.
Check out both these bands, if you’re into this kind of noise damage. I think you will be thrilled and pummeled.