Skip to main content

my little secrets

earlier today, i responded to a tweet-buddy [i don't even know what you call people with whom you interact on twitter, so that's what i'm sticking with] who asked followers to name an album that they loved but that no one else seemed to know about.

you'd think, given my interest in music that people usually assume is some sort of malfunction, that this wouldn't be difficult for me to do, but most of the people i know are ones i've connected with in some way or another because of music, which means that there's a pretty significant overlap happening at all times with at least some of them. nonetheless, there are a few albums that have stuck with me that no one seems to recall. either the bands were never able to reach that great and audience, or the earlier or later material was much better known, or they simply didn't stick around long enough to make a solid impression.

as more music gets released all the time, the dangers of missing out- of everyone missing out- on a good thing becomes far higher. i check in on bandcamp and soundcloud more or less daily, and i regularly get music to review. all that has done is make me acutely aware that there is a mountain of music that i'm missing. without that, i'd still be missing lots of stuff, but i wouldn't really be aware of it. and that's just new stuff. there's thousands of hours of music that i'd probably love, except that it no longer exists, or at least is no longer accessible.

so, with all that in mind, i thought i'd share a few things that have been close to my heart but far from the spotlight, even the teensy spotlight that shines on the genres of music that i follow.

click click :: bent massive

i've always had a love for the music released in the late eighties by play it again sam records, but this will always have a special place in my heart. neon judgment had more dancefloor appeal and meat beat manifesto were more raucous, but this album has a kind of film noir appeal- halfway between art and pulp. fun fact: it was the song "yes" that originally made me watch the film onibaba, which has since become one of my all-time favourites. members of the band are still active and much of their back catalogue is available through their bandcamp site.



hula :: 1000 hours

of roughly the same vintage as bent massive, but from a slightly different part of the forest. there's a jazziness to a lot of the material on this album that would normally put me off, but somehow, i can't get enough of it. impossible to get for years because it was released on the ill-fated cherry red records, i was lucky enough work at a radio station that had a copy. good news is that it's now available as a digital download through itunes. go figure.



mandible chatter :: hair hair lock and lore

the mid-nineties seemed to see a blossoming of ambient music in the united states, particularly in the southwest. groups like life garden and voice of eye developed more of a following, but i always saw this group as the hovering on the edge of that scene, weaving in some of the same psychedelic-sounding elements, but remaining a little more remote. i can't believe fans of zoviet france weren't all over this, but since it was released on the band's own label and received only limited distribution, i guess that they never heard it.



triage :: the cessation of spoil

although both of the people behind this project- chet scott [ruhr hunter, blood of the black owl, etc.] and scott candey [gruntsplatter, blunt force trauma, umbra, etc.]- are well enough known in dark ambient circles, this album seemed to slip right under the radar. maybe it got lost in the shuffle of both artists releasing quite a bit of material around the same time [including a split album under their better-known artist names]. maybe people didn't realise who was involved. or maybe its darkness was a little too subtle, while its ambience was a little too ominous. nevertheless, it's a wonderfully tense, creepy album. the first time i listened to it, i had vivid nightmares. still to be found in the backrooms of some distributors.

sad picture is sad it is not a video

perverse teens :: spirit of '78

a one-off romp from two members of the power electronics outfit ppf [propagande par le fait] that channels early cabaret voltaire, offbeat electro acts like crash course in science, and a healthy dose of french punk. this album has been a staple on my dj playlists for years and i've been asked about it more than anything else i play. there are obviously some difficulties involved in doing an internet search for the band, but the reward is that this release is obscure enough that a number of distributors still have copies.



pimentola :: misantropolis

when i responded to the tweet i mentioned at the beginning of this post, this was the album i named. finnish group pimentola released their first album in 2000, followed by a few compilation appearances and 7" releases, none of which seemed particularly exceptional within martial industrial/ neoclassical industrial circles. then one of the band members left, and the one who remained reinvented the act, giving it a strange and  wondrous new sound and getting signed to genre heavyweights cold meat industry in the process. misantropolis is the one and only album that came out of this new incarnation and to this day, i struggle to think of anything that really sounds like it. [extra points for its brilliant artwork, pictured at the top of this post, and the sharp humour evident in titles like "psychopompous".] harder to find since cmi closed up shop.



this could keep going for a while, but, like a good bartender, i'm going to cut myself off before i get all rambling are start to make people want to avoid coming near me. because seriously, that's where this is heading.

Comments

as long as you're here, why not read more?

fun-raising

no, i am not dead, nor have i been lying incapacitated in a ditch somewhere. i've mostly been preparing for our imminent, epic move, which is actually not so terribly epic, because we found a place quite close to where we are now. in addition, i've been the beneficiary of an inordinately large amount of paying work, which does, sadly, take precedence over blogging, even though you know i'd always rather be with you.

indeed, with moving expenses and medical expenses looming on the horizon, more than can be accounted for even with the deepest cuts in the lipstick budget, dom and i recently did something that we've not done before: we asked for help. last week, we launched a fundraising campaign on go fund me. it can be difficult to admit that you need a helping hand, but what's been overwhelming for both of us is how quick to respond so many people we know have been once we asked. it's also shocking to see how quickly things added up.

most of all, though, the ex…

losers?

just a short time ago, i waxed prosaic about trump supporters who felt betrayed by their candidate pursuing in office the exact things that he said he would. short version: i have no sympathy.

today is a bit different. in the wake of america's bombing of a syrian air strip, in response to a chemical weapons attack by the syrian government, my facebook and twitter feeds were peppered with plaintive shades of "we believed you". these are the people who heard trump say that he wanted the united states to step back and focus on defending its own. indeed, trump did say such things, over and over; america cannot be the policeman of the world. even arch-liberal cynics like me had to admit that this was a refreshing argument to hear from someone outside the paul family, and, could easily have been turned into trump's greatest argument against hillary clinton. [he chose to go another way, which also worked.]

trump also said, repeatedly, that america needed to invest heavily …

long division

after the united states election last year, there were the usual calls for the country to unite behind the new president. that never happens anymore, because, since george w. bush scored a victory in 2004, having launched the country into a war in iraq for no reason, the people on the losing side of a presidential election have been pretty bloody angry about it. democrats hated bush 43. republicans really hated obama. democrats really hate trump.

it didn't help that trump didn't make the typical conciliatory gestures like including a couple of members of the opposite party in his cabinet, or encouraging his party to proceed slowly with contentious legislation. barack obama arguably wasted at least two and as many as six years of his tenure as president trying to play peacemaker before he felt sufficiently safe to just say "screw you guys" and start governing around the ridiculous congress he was forced to deal with. not-giving-a-shit obama was the best president in …