Friday, April 12, 2019

Bad Sector - "Kosmodrom" [2005]

Artist: Bad Sector
Title: Космодром
Genre: Dark Ambient, Industrial
Country: Italy
Release date: 2006 (2xCD reissue 2013)

Track List:
  1. Energiya
  2. Telemetry
  3. June 16, 1963
  4. Baikonur
  5. Extravehicular
  6. Vjezna
  7. Orbiter
  8. Beacon
  9. April 12, 1961
  10. Kosmos
Bonus CD:
  1. Oktober 4, 1957
  2. Extravehicular 2
  3. Cosmos 69
  4. Plesetsk
  5. Almaz
  6. Zvezdi
  7. Kapustin Yar
  8. Чайка
  9. Extravehicular 3
On Cosmonauts' Day, I'm posting this conceptual work by Massimo Magrini, dedicated to the works of Konstantin Tsiolkovsky and their practical applications that ultimately led to the first human spaceflight on April 12, 1961 (the case where you can use the words "rocket science" unironically). Parts of it were recorded in Moscow and St. Petersburg using the old Soviet ANS synthesizers (those were already mentioned on my blog several times in connection to the history of Russian/Soviet synthpop). I'd bet that Massimo's music is better known here than at his home in Italy, partially because of this release too :)

When it comes to sound, "Kosmodrom" doesn't offer many surprises to the fans of Bad Sector. Like Massimo's other releases, it's better described as sound engineering (a field that Massimo possesses a scientific degree in) rather than music, and it's intended to be the modern (post-)industrial music in its pure form. However, you aren't going to hear any harsh noise on there; it's "nerdy" cosmic ambient for the most part, with some occasional elements of rhythmic noise. This 2xCD edition was released by Loki-Found, a German label specialized in dark/cosmic ambient, in 2013, and it's partially available as a free listen on Bandcamp. Of course, you also can download it from dark-world.ru or elsewhere, especially considering that Massimo himself has nothing against musical piracy and admits being a pirate himself :3

Monday, April 1, 2019

Nambavan - "Last Night The DJ Shaved My Ass" [2006]

Artist: Nambavan
Title: Last Night The DJ Shaved My Ass
Genre: Experimental, Minimal Techno
Country: Russia
Release date: 2006

Track List:
  1. Last Night The DJ Shaved My Ass
  2. Shooting On The Gay-Party
  3. Sad Song
  4. Tunnel
  5. You Should Be Dancing Dub
Honestly, until today I never thought I'd ever post anything related to Nambavan on here. But today's the 1st of April, so why not? Moreover, this particular album suprisingly fits the spirit of my blog quite well, which can't be said about the rest of Nambavan discography.

Nambavan (pronounced as "number one" with a thick Russian accent) is a moniker of Linar Bilalov, who is also known as an owner of a now defunct site bratan.info (which was pretty much the 2000s equivalent of Life of Boris). He has released several albums of trashy electronic music with offensive lyrics, which would be best described as "unintelligent dance music" (in fact, it sounds more like electroclash than anything else). While there's not much in the discography of Nambavan worth listening to, his cartoonishly anti-intellectual image has became a meme that's still remembered after almost a decade of inactivity. The last.fm biography of Nambavan is worth checking out too:
Using a broken $3 mic, an $80 guitar and an old Casio keyboard, Nambavan puts together dirty disco tracks that will pizdelovka you on the dance floor. Time and space traveler Nambavan brings you the nasty eighties punk pop that the USSR never had, coveting and cultivating dancefloor rhythms, analogue distortions and droll hip hop references.
At his home in Kazan, Republic of Tatarstan, where few make their own music, Nambavan started out by enrolling in a music school to learn the guitar, but was expelled for not being able to remember songs. He moved on to the digital world, bought his first PC in 2000 and started composing.
This album, however, is very different. With its name being an obvious pun on "Last Night The DJ Saved My Life" (and no, "Shooting On The Gay Party" obviously isn't a reference to the Orlando massacre which happened a decade after this track was recorded, although cynical references of this kind are very much in the habit of Nambavan), it's the only entirely instrumental album of Nambavan which offers a pretty interesting mixture of noises, clicks and other experimental sounds. Headphone listening is recommended:
Nambavan’s first album without vocal and electronic melodies, written down after two weeks of experiments with analog noise, clicks, delays, highpass house filters and broken groove rhythms.
You will feel how music collapses in your head.
All in all, I haven't expected anything like this from Nambavan, and if you're a fancier of obscure experimental electronic music, it will be a very interesting find for you... or maybe not. But seriously, what would you expect from an album that's literally titled "Last Night The DJ Shaved My Ass"?..

Monday, March 25, 2019

V/A - "Xypnima II" [2011]

Artist: (various)
Title: Xypnima II
Genre: Dark Ambient, Post-Industrial, Trip-Hop
Country: Russia
Release date: 2011

Track List:
  1. The Most eeElusive Orchestra - Kookla
  2. Dome Reflector - Dextera Domini
  3. MRKB - Edentification
  4. Āv Ux - Īŋŋjoadtmušš
  5. Радиосознания - Красные Тракты Весны (Vernal Red Traces)
One of the compilations by Heliophagia net label dedicated to the day of spring equinox, released in March 2011 (8 years already have passed since then... oh shi--). Like the other early compilations by Heliophagia, it mostly features bedroom dark ambient/drone project, although the last track stands out not only this compilation, but anything released on Heliolatria in general. It's performed by a self-described "badtrip-hop" duo led by Najnas, and this compilation deserves to be posted on here for this track alone. If you like an atmospheric mix of hip-hop and industrial/dark ambient in the vein of Dälek, this one is highly recommended for you. Sadly, just like the other projects of Najnas, they had a lot of potential but never released a proper album...

Heli Keinonen ‎- "Ajettih Da Tšiganaiset" [1966]

Artist: Heli Keinonen
Title: Ajettih Da Tšiganaiset 7''
Genre: Folk, Singer-Songwriter
Country: Finland
Release date: 1966

Track List:
  1. Ajettih Da Tšiganaiset
  2. Ruskie Neitšyt, Valgie Neitšyt
I found out about Heli Keinonen because of Kriminaaliset Metsänhaltijat,who sampled one of her songs on their album "Valkoinen Terrori". There's next to no information about her in English, but I managed to find some info in Finnish and Russian - not much anyway, but enough to conclude that she was and still is an outstanding and controversial person.

So, Heli Keinonen was born April 5th, 1943 in Joensuu, Finland, and became famous in mid-1960s as a singer of traditional Karelian songs. In particular, the second song off this 7'' vinyl became a big hit that's still performed by many folk singers in Finland. She released a few more 7'' singles during the second half of 1960s, but they weren't as successful as this one. Later in 1970s, she became involved in radical politics (if I understood the Finnish sources correctly, it happened after she married some well-known undergrond writer and activist) and started to sing political songs, the best known of which is "Kuolemaantuomitun Hyvästijättö" - the one that was used by KM on "Valkoinen Terrori". During the 1980s, she worked in Sudan where she eventually decided to convert to Islam, although sources say that she never followed the Islamic dress code and generally didn't take it too seriously. As of late 2009, she was teaching Arabic language in Finland, although she's most likely retired by now.

Regardless of some questionable life choices, this 7'' shows that she certainly was a good singer. Here's one more Karelian folk song (according to the description, it's about a girl and a boy meeting at well) performed by Heli live on YLE TV in 1967. The melody reminds me of some Russian and ukrainian folk songs, and the language sounds like Finnish with slightly different phonetics and some random Russian words thrown in:


Sunday, March 17, 2019

Marja Üldine - "Own My Fears" [2019]

Artist: Marja Üldine
Title: Own My Fears
Genre: Gothic Rock/Metal, Doom Metal
Country: Russia
Release date: 2019

Track List:
  1. My own fears
  2. Dontcryever
  3. Live under the bridge
  4. Waking up
  5. Remember this day
  6. Knock-knock
  7. Sirens
  8. Cosmic weed (bonus track)
Marja Üldine is a Vepsian folk singer, but if you expect her debut album "Own My Fears" to be a typical Finno-Ugric folk album, you're in for a big surprise (if not disappointment). All the lyrics on "Own My Fears" are in English, and the music has little to do with traditional folk or even folk metal. The singer herself described it as "hard rock", but it isn't telling much (because, at least here, "hard rock" is pretty much an old-fashioned term for anything heavier than The Beatles).

As for me, "Own My Fears" sounds more like mid-90s The Gathering and other gothic/doom metal bands of the same era, rather than anything else. The whole album leaves an impression as it was recorded some time during early-mid 2000s, with the appropriate cover artwork (a very stereotypical one for an early 2000s gothic metal album) and quality of production. It certainly evokes a lot of nostalgia for these times, so I wasn't disappointed by this album, but as for future releases from Marja Üldine -I'd like to hear more Vepsian folk (a much rarer thing than gothic/doom metal, that's for sure) with lyrics in her native language.

Friday, March 8, 2019

La Torture des Ténèbres - "IV - Memoirs of a Machine Girl" [2017]

Artist: La Torture des Ténèbres
Title: IV - Memoirs of a Machine Girl
Genre: Atmospheric Black Metal, Noise
Country: Canada
Release date: 2017

Track List:
  1. Staring at the Stars to the Sound of Trucks Revving in the Distance
  2. Enigma of the Intergalactic Canyon
  3. Somewhere in Brockville, in a Restroom Stall
  4. Love Pumps Through My Veins as Quickly as You Kiss Me Goodbye
  5. Thank You for Holding My Hand Through Every Haunted House
  6. Lysol, Scrub Away Your Sanity
I discovered this one-woman project from Ottawa in a blog that specializes in martial industrial, which surprised me because the style was claimed as 'black metal". This album indeed turned out to be based in atmospheric black metal, but heavily mixed with dark ambient, noise, and martial industrial elements, creating a very oppressive post-apocalyptic horror atmosphere. Compared to other one-female black metal projects I've posted on here before, like Sylvaine or Lonely Star, this one is definitely much harder to get into. "IV - Memoirs of a Machine Girl" is easily one of the most "inhuman" releases I've listened to in the last couple of years (and I listen to a lot of black metal and noise). You may love or hate this album at the first listen, but it's unlikely to leave you indifferent. And, of course, it has a great retrofuturistic cover art (which is a painting by Hugh Ferriss, if I'm not mistaken), one look at which would be enough to understand what to expect from this album: the music from a dystopian world of gigantic structures and mechanisms.

Saturday, March 2, 2019

Tidfall - "Nucleus" [2003]

Artist: Tidfall
Title: Nucleus
Genre: Industrial Black Metal
Country: Norway
Release date: 2003

Track List:
  1. Future Doom
  2. Nucleus
  3. Neo-Torment
  4. Mercury Mesh
  5. Soil of Tomorrow
  6. Psychotronica
  7. Zounds
  8. Exo-Skeleton
  9. Tech
On the two albums following Tidfall's debut "Circular Supremacy", Tidfall took a more industrial metal direction. In fact, they were one of the first (if not the very first) industrial black metal bands I've discovered during the times when I was just starting to get into metal. Surely, they aren't as well-known as their compatriots Thorns or Mysticum, and this album doesn't contain any particularly big hits, yet I think this album is highly overlooked. It's industrial black metal the way I expect it to be, and the appropriate lyrical themes along with the "mechanical"/futuristic atmosphere are in place:


Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Tidfall - "Circular Supremacy" [2000]

Artist: Tidfall
Title: Circular Supremacy
Genre: Symphonic Black Metal
Country: Norway
Release date: 2000

Track List:
  1. In the Eyes of Death
  2. A Hidden Realm
  3. Allured by Grief
  4. Black Psychotic Darkness
  5. Bloodact
  6. Shining Serpent
  7. In a Dark Dream
  8. Empty Silence
  9. Reflections
  10. Hymn to Fall
Tidfall is a rather obscure Norwegian black metal band formed in 1992, released a first demo in 1997, and put on an indefinite hiatus in 2005. Most reviewers describe them as a mediocre project that failed to bring anything new to the scene, but I do think such reputation is undeserved. Surely there are many Norwegian black metal bands from the same era that are far more famous, and when it comes to symphonic black metal in particular, Tidfall's "Circular Supremacy" doesn't get on the same level as such classics as "Nexus Polaris" by Covenant, yet I think it's still pretty powerful and certainly deserves a listen:

Sunday, January 27, 2019

Urarv - "Aurum" [2017]

Artist: Urarv
Title: Aurum
Genre: Progressive Black Metal
Country: Norway
Release date: 2017

Track List:
  1. Forvitringstid
  2. Ancient DNA
  3. The Retortion
  4. Broken Wand
  5. Guru
  6. Valens Tempel
  7. Fancy Daggers
  8. Red Circle
Urarv is an avant-garde black metal project of Aldrahn, who's mostly known as ex-vocalist of Zyklon-B and Dødheimsgard. Although it was founded in 2003, it released the first promo only in 2016 after becoming a full band consisting of three members. Here's their debut full-length album, entitled "Aurum". Judging from its sound, Urarv is not that "avant-garde" compared to some other Norwegian bands of this kind (i.e. I Left The Planet, or late Fleurety), but the balance between the avant-garde elements (i.e. black'n'roll riffs, and the unique vocals by Aldrahn) and the traditional Norwegian black metal of this album is nearly perfect. My personal favourite track is "Broken Wand", and while this album isn't something I'd listen to on daily basis, it certainly should be recommended to anyone who liked the later albums by DHG.

Speaking of other Urarv members, I can't tell much about their bassist Sturt because the names of his previous bands are completely unfamiliar to me (although I've checked out this one because they had a member of Red Harvest and Dunkel:heit for some time on guitar, and I must say that their lyrics are a prime example of what's called "so bad it's good").

Trish Kolsvart, their drummer, has a pretty lengthy list of black metal and punk bands she played in, and she was relatively popular on Myspace around 2010. Not hard to see why - there aren't many girls who play extreme metal (she can play guitar as well as drums), and are good looking in addition to that:

...Yes, the quality of the last photo isn't the best, but I like that she's got both musical talent and beautiful legs :) Check out "Aurum" here:

Friday, January 25, 2019

Dunkel:heit ‎- "Obey" [1995]

Artist: Dunkel:heit
Title: Obey
Genre: Industrial Metal
Country: Norway
Release date: 1995

Track List:
  1. Untitled
  2. Soulscape Fading
  3. Untitled
  4. Finding the Way
  5. Untitled
  6. Separate Ways
  7. LRB9-51
  8. Thrive
  9. Untitled
  10. Conformity Control
  11. Anarchaoz
  12. Untitled
  13. Solitary Survival
  14. On and On
  15. Untitled
  16. True Believers In False Prophets (Origami Replika)
  17. Technol
  18. Untitled
  19. Lozt Love (Origami Replika)
  20. Chorus of Contemplation
  21. Untitled
  22. Munchscape
  23. Untitled
Disregard the stupid cover art, this album is a very interesting historical artifact for anyone who loves Red Harvest and the associated projects. Pretty much all I know about Dunkel:heit can be found in this blog (which is quite fine and highly recommended to check out):
Dunkelheit (aka Dunkel:heit) started out in the summer of '92 as a part-time industrial-style project containing members from the industrial metal band Red Harvest.
After recording some songs, they decided to keep going and started recruiting more members.
Around a year later they recorded a demo on an 8-track recorder.
Instead of pushing their demo heavily around, they band started playing around with the idea of doing a compilation CD.
The CD, entitled "The Reincarnation Of The Sun", was released in February 1994 by Dunkel Prod. and contained (mostly) exclusive material from Red Harvest, Anstalt, Valhall, Dunkelheit, Remyl, Piledriver and Humid.
Shortly after this release, Suggestion Records got in touch with the band and offered a deal for a 7" EP.
"More Than Meets The Third Eye" was recorded with four new songs and released in the summer of '94.
Pleased with the result of this 7" EP, Suggestion offered a deal for a full-length CD.
The material was recorded in March '95, and the CD "Obey" was released in the end of the summer '95.
Since then the project was put on hold.
While this release (a quite lengthy one, by the way; the "Untitled" tracks are  mostly short spoken word interludes) is not exactly a masterpiece, it certainly has very nice moments (i.e. "Soulscape Fading" being one of the best industrial metal songs from the first half of 1990s I've heard so far), and it carries the same inhuman/mechanistic atmosphere that we love Red Harvest albums for. Fans of Fear Factory and other mid-90s industrial death metal shouldn't be dissapointed as well. You can check out "Obey" using the link above, or, alternatively, on Youtube: