Monday, October 29, 2007

Fever - Too Bad But True

1. Rubber Cell
2. See You Runnin
3. Got To Be
4. Two Poles
5. Black Around Me
6. The Button
7. Distill Your Brain
8. Fever

For those of you who are still lamenting the dissolution of the Digital Hardcore label stable, here's a treat from 1998. It's hard to believe this is almost a decade old when Fever managed to put out an album that made hip hop for the next decade sound stale and dated. Fever is the discordant bastard child of digital hardcore and hip hop, helmed by Din ST and Paul PM... taking hip hop out of the twentieth century and putting it square in the middle of a post-apocalyptic future that would make Mad Max think twice about heading out of doors.

As far as I can figure out, Too Bad But True is the only full length release by the duo, but it has certainly served it's purpose: nihilist annihilation... serving the Digital Hardcore Records manifesto of "Fuck all", all too well. Too Bad brings out all of the tricks from the DHR bag: C64 and Gameboy blips, slowed and distorted metal guitar riffs and stabs, blown to fuck drum samples, synths so filthy bleach wouldn't begin to help... and as such, fits nicely within the DHR pantheon next to sonic kin like EC8OR, Shizuo and Alec Empire's Atari Teenage Riot. Empire's touch, however indirect, is felt throughout Too Bad. The entire template had been set before with ATR's digital punk rock, and especially with ATR MC Carl Crack... but Fever do the DH/hip hop much, MUCH better. "Two Poles" is the centerpiece, a loping, breathing and claustrophobic. El-P could only dream of making something so gloriously fucked. Shit, El-Producto stole most of his production steez from this record, the other half coming from Giorgio Moroder soundtracks.

Scooters, vacation, fall:


Re-upped 12.20
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Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Alcest - Souvenirs D'un Autre Monde

1. Printemps Emeraude
2. Souvenirs D'un Autre Monde
3. Les Iris
4. Ciel Errant
5. Sur L'autre Rive Je T'attendrai
6. Tir Nan Og

Considering Alcest began as a raw black metal project, this record might seem like quite a contrast. However, with black metallers such as Ulver and Dead Reptile Shrine taking their chosen genre to far off aural locales and warping black metal almost beyond recognition, this is not incredibly surprising. The difference here is the fact that those projects still bear the blackened mark of BM, whereas Alcest forgoes it entirely. The lone participant of Alcest, Neige, has created an album of beautiful, sprawling, and at several times Jesu-like metal. The influence of black metal is mostly nonexistent.

In fact, so much of this bears the sonic stamp of Justin Broadrick's Jesu, it could almost be a tribute. Neige is making no bones about his love of dreamy shoegaze. My Bloody Valentine, Slowdive and Smashing Pumpkins (yeah, I know, not so much a shoegaze act) shine through in moments, but the more I listen to this record, the more it sounds like a French language release of Jesu's Conqueror. Not that that's a bad thing, mind you. Souvenirs is a prettier record than Conqueror, with floating, ethereal vocals and lilting, delicate melodies.

By far the best non-black metal black metal record of the year.



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Back Up In the Monolith

Regular visitors will have noticed the complete lack of updates in the past month.

My excuse? I didn't feel like it. Last month I set a goal to post and review a record for each letter of the alphabet and I think i got a little burned out with the volume. My reviews/blurbs/ramblings/whatever seem to be getting longer in length, and as such, are taking more time and energy. I took a short break for the better part of this month, but this bloggg has not been abandoned, just forgotten for a couple weeks.

Thanks for stopping by, and enjoy the goodies and bullshit.


Sunday, October 7, 2007

Zombi - Surface to Air

1. Challenger Deep
2. Digitalis
3. Legacy
4. Surface to Air
5. Night Rhythms

Z = Zombi. The first thing that came to mind the very first time I had heard Zombi was a nameless action film circa '88 with a faceless macho action movie hero kicking some hopeless action movie bad guy ass. Then it hit me that Zombi are the brilliant instrumental bastard child of Vangelis, Italian legends Goblin, Giorgio Moroder, and that Surface to Air is the soundtrack to a suspense-laden horror/action/sci-fi/psychological thriller the '80's never made. "Challenger Deep" kicks this joint off with a sweeping opening credits sequence, leading into "Digitalis", a chase scene through wooded streets involving members of Kraftwerk and Charles Bronson. The epic finale "Night Rhythms" seamlessly integrates Fulci, Blade Runner, Yes and disco-prog into an 18 minute+ synth/drums/bass jam.

P.S. If you're expecting to sound like metal, even after reading the review, you'll be sorely disappointed.