maandag 26 oktober 2009

review: Death Sentence: Panda! / The Dreams split

Some of the best post-punk music is coming from France these days. They are not bound by fake genre definitions. By defying all genre and style characteristics they go back to the roots of post-punk. In the early days post-punk was a free style type of music with a wide range of sounds from guitar based to electronic textures and any combination of those two spiced with any other sound the artists liked.

The Dreams made an impression on me when they performed at Hex in Amsterdam. Recently I released a split 7 inch of them with Scorpion Violente (from the same scene again). In October they played at the Enfant Terrible night and it was a great performance of raw ecstatic post-punk music.

They gave me this split 10 inch that night which I did not have yet. It featured many songs I already knew and I was (and still am) very happy with it. The opening is great with a sort of intro and a first real track in a sort of Throbbing Gristle way... if you like "20 Jazz Funk Greats" you will love this for sure.

After that there are two more songs in the more exotic way the band is known for. But again in a way this has references to TG... I always thought 'What A Day' has this tribal feeling... well The Dreams too... maybe more reggae as tribal but the same sort of mood is fused with raw music from electronic origin and primitive guitar abuse.

So, I played this side of the 10 inch on and on... and forgot to check the A Side... What a shame! The A Side if by USA based band Death Sentence: Panda! The opening caught my attention straight away... weird toy instrument sounds mixed with a destroyed beat echoing some hip hop infuences. The tracks explodes into chaotic strange post-punk somewhat like Les Georges Leningrad... ending in a drone / ambient sequence... wow! Yes, one long track but impressive as could be.

What is there left to say except you should get a copy of this as fast as possible... it will sell out fast for sure (if it did not already) just like the split 7 inch I did release...

woensdag 21 oktober 2009

Cold Cave versus Agent Side Grinder

As a big fan of Cold Cave I was surprised and pleased to see what webzine It’s A Trap had to say after hearing the promo versions of the new Agent Side Grinder albums. The official Cold Cave debut was sold out very fast but a re-issue is planned for next month. I was happy to find a still sealed copy. Also check out the ‘Cremations’ compilation cd. Anyway, here is what It’s A Trap wrote:

“To borrow the lexicon of the financial pages: I am downgrading Cold Cave to a Sell while upgrading my rating on Agent Side Grinder to Strong Buy. I believe that Cold Cave's market has reached saturation and become overvalued while Agent Side Grinder has nowhere to go but up, especially considering the upcoming Q4 release of both "Irish recording tape" and "The transatlantic tape project" (via Enfant Terrible, vinyl-only). The former is of primarily interest to me, as it shows tremendous growth over last year's self-titled release and I must also commend them for the recruitment Alexander Blomqvist (on live bass) as he appears to have brought many new strengths with him to the executive team. The fine qualities that first caught my attention when I rated them a Buy (ie, the driving, dirty industrial beats) are still very much in place, only now far more refined and developed. I expect 2010 to be a very good year for Agent Side Grinder and don't expect them to face much serious competition for market share.”

Source: It's A Trap

Check out Cold Cave
Check out Agent Side Grinder

dinsdag 13 oktober 2009

reviews: Krysmopompas, Adolf Filter, Peter Quistgard

Here are three nice small records I have been listening to the last few months...

Krysmopompas already pleasantly surprised me with their 2LP on S-S Records from the USA. This German based band plays excellent Neo Deutsche Welle music. You get on this 7 inch (released on the Italian Avant! Records label) two playful tunes (called 'Gesa' and 'Volker') in the best Neue Deutsche Welle tradition. While the tracks on the 2LP were more guitar dominated these two tracks are less typical rock influenced. Still the guitar is there but it is used in a different way (less rock) and more electronic elements pop up. The sound is now quite close to that of Punk Soul Loving Bill. And while this band has ceased to exist it is nice to have Krysmopompas around to fill the gap.
500 were pressed and they come in a sleeve with a very nice cover design. Still a few copies available at the Enfant Terrible webshop.

Adolf Filter released this two track 7 inch (entitled 'Storing Signals In Analog Form') on the small Tissel & Tassel label that also already released the excellent Close Diode 7" compilation (also featuring Adolf Filter and a great track by Swedish Twize My Size). These two melodic down/mid tempo pieces are simple great dark synth pop tunes. Funny thing is I got the tracks to listen to for releasing on Enfant Terrible and I was not sure about them back then. So the band released it this way in a small edition of only 100 copies. What a great idea this was and how fitting! And now... I hear the genius of it... I had some at the Enfant Terrible webshop but they are gone but I believe the band has a few left...

For those present at the Enfant Terrible night at STRP Festival 2009 or have seen the announcements for this night Peter Quistgard should be a name to know. This guy from Holland likes to take musical toys apart, short circuit them and then use them as instruments for this music. What you get is a mixed up sound of break beats, gabber house and weird playful elektro. The structure of his tracks might be hard to follow for the unfamiliar but if you listen to the tracks more often you will sort it out for sure. It is crazy and original and fantastic electronic noise! References are hard to give... expect maybe that Peter Quistgard sounds like a messed up and dirty and more trashy Kania Tieffer... well in that case you simply have to love this!
The 7 inches are released on a small Dutch label called Toztizok in which the musician is himself also involved. The sleeves are handmade and equally excellent as is the music. Only 300 copies where pressed and I have some at the Enfant Terrible webshop. And... if you get a chance to see Peter Quistgard live make sure to be there in the front row to see him play around with his partly destroyed toys...

The Enfant Terrible webshop is here...

vrijdag 9 oktober 2009

two new Agent Side Grinder albums OUT NOW

Two new Agent Side Grinder albums on Enfant Terrible

After the highly acclaimed debut album by Swedish electronic outfit Agent Side Grinder Dutch record label Enfant Terrible is presenting not one but two new albums by this band.

The band is now a five piece outfit (they started with three musicians). With this new line up they worked on a new album. This record is ‘Irish Recording Tape’. On this record the band has been perfecting their sound and song writing skills. Maybe the songs have been become more accessible in a way but they still show the typical style of Agent Side Grinder: drilling industrial sounds which may remind sometimes of Swans, hypnotic synth sequences that refer to krautrock and psychedelic music and post-punk influenced bass lines which will give you flashbacks to Joy Division.

Information and soundclips for Irish Recording Tape are here:

The true experimental side of Agent Side Grinder is shown in ‘The Transatlantic Tape Project’. This started as a way to keep working together while one of the members was in the USA. Sounds and music where put to tape and send over the Atlantic Ocean and re-worked their and sent back again to Sweden.

In the end this resolved into an unique album with amazing music. ‘The Transatlantic Tape Project’ is a blending of 60’s psychedelic music and 80’s experimental industrial muzak which is molded into original contemporary ambient music. Maybe it is better to call this electronic Chamber Music as it is much richer in texture then ambient music. Think about a soundtrack for a David Lynch film, think early Cabaret Voltaire and think elements of Velvet Underground and you can maybe get an idea of the actual sound of this record.

Information and soundclips for The Transatlantic Tape Project are here:

--> The photo shows a self built instrument used on the recordings and the new band line up.