Freak Scene #6

July 30, 2007

The heat has gotten to Freak Scene. This week's selections are devoid of the column's usual folky respites and are solely drones and dirges, described in somewhat disturbing nightmarish terms ie PARTY TIMES! To see what summertime's all about, evil summertime that is, turn the page.

Sometimes in the summer it’s just too hot to sleep in the city. The best thing to do is bide your time and wait for morning. To ward off conscious thought I’ve found this Bonecloud 3-inch (pictured above) on the Diagnosis Don’t! Recordings label to be especially helpful. Bonecloud offer long static waves of pulsing drone with enough activity to keep things moving. Amplifiers hum, satellites beam radiation, and dim clouds of subterranean moans knock out anything literal from the mind. Hailing from Dublin this two-piece employs a not unfamiliar sound as their drone obsessed American contemporaries like Emeralds and Robedoor, however, there is something more distant about Bonecloud, yet no less shimmering, their glow removed as if emerging from a hole. Basement sounds perhaps? Regardless its charms can’t be denied and its frequencies are perfectly in tune with a certain contented malaise of Sunday disenchantment this writer comes home to.

A few years back Eclipse released the debut record by Scotland’s Taurpis Tula, a guitar and pedal steel duo consisting of Heather Leigh and David Keenan entitled Sparrows. The drift was epic and ghostly, as if a single candle was lighting an empty mansion and its pace was glacial and massive. After a few CDR’s they have emerged as a trio with drummer Alex Nielson and returned with their 2nd LP Cadillac Sitting Like a Ton of Lead. If my prior candlelit analogy were to be used, this time the group lights up like firecrackers and flare guns aiming straight into the heart of the night sky. Taurpis Tula’s free rock explorations are both loud and bold yet still retain a sense of focus from their more spectral work. They’re clearly “going for it,” summoning their collective powers to unleash a wail of feedback and stretched guitar tones over Nielson’s everywhere drums, with their love if Japanese psych and free jazz on their sleeves. The record feels confident in its gestures and maintains a healthy heft. A fine LP, brought to us by the Ikuisuus Records label, check it out, it’s worth your time.

Another record well worth your precious time is The Empty Quarter by Hair Police. Released on Steve Underwood’s Harbinger Sound label, you know this must be some nasty stuff given the pedigree of other recent Harbinger outings (Take the 3XLP The Vultures Miss Nothing comp for example). There’s nothing nice to be found here. Between the Connelly shriek and Beatty and Tremaine’s electro-molasses it sounds like an oil spill. Like nature covered in tar and slick, black death, Hair Police slowly kills everything it touches. There are no drums, no attack of frenzy, just power, like steam pipes exploding, someone’s down in that basement pit there making half mad sighs and wordless screaming threats. The creep factor is in full effect, evil without traditional signifiers. Everything breaks and the alarms are going off.

Lastly we come to the Rumbala cassette by Alberich, which is the solo guise of Kris Lapke (Ashpool, Northern Cross). This is late-mid period industrial style beats pounding out death factory rhythms behind power electronics vocals and textures. Self-described as Heavy Electronics, this short tape delivers an aggressive momentum of war-torn sounding bombed-out music. There’s an energy that reminds a bit of Toll and late period Broken Flag in its embrace of texture as well as force. Alberich sounds like running through a dark maze of broken down warehouses while trying to escape some unknown threat. The windows are shot out and shards of glass litter the way. Whatever is coming is gaining ground quickly and before you know it its all over. Anyone looking for actually good industrial music (its been a LONG time since I’ve heard anything worthwhile in that genre) Albreich is the answer.

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Posted: July 30, 2007
Freak Scene #6