Thursday, December 30, 2010
Sometime between now and mid-january, time permitting, i intend to do three seperate posts on some stand out artefacts of the last year. If the posts never happen and this paragraph is rapidly edited out then i've descended into another fit of self-consciousness and decided agianst it.
There's a reason why most metal blogs catering to a non-niche market all have Agalloch, Electric Wizard, Deathspell Omega and Ludicra in their lists and it's because people moderate their behaviour and opinions in accordance to what other people around them are doing. Or it could be that these were just totally fucking amazing releases, but i kind of doubt it.
Regarding Deathspell Omega i listened to Paracletusa lot (probably more than most other releases this year), still waiting on an easy to purchase vinyl edition before i hail or curse it. Initial listens were utterly frustrating and i'd decided that this was basically the LP where i would stop following them. And repeated listens did not bring anything out that i could say i liked. Yes, i can definitely hear all those parts that have been written off as sounding like Botch and likewise, i'm not all that enamoured with them.
Sometime about two weeks ago whilst walking through a snow storm at 6am it clicked with me a lot more and listening to it in terms of the two major DSO records that came before it (Fas and Si Monumentum) i'm starting to appreciate it more. In this era of instant downloads and instant ill thought opinions via blog, message board and status update alike it's a brave band that will release something that neccesitates repeated listens. (And i offer the same praise to The Body for their All The Waters of the Earth Turn to Blood release.)
Which is why a top ten list of things from 2010 is about as useful as the playlist on the bottom of any of my blog posts; it just captures my thoughts from the previous two days. I'm still figuring out the importance of Deathspell Omega's newest work, it'll either be something that doesn't captivate me at all or it will become an important release to me (and it'll be one extreme or the other).
Drainland's And so our Troubles Began is one of my favourites from 2010 without a doubt. Download it here, get the demo here. Where it would sit in a top ten list i couldn't say.
Shit that was important this year:
A new Burzum LP
This is something that is worthy of a far more in depth analysis than i could attempt. This is something that needs to be discussed in terms beyond "OMG he a natsi that killed a mayhem", "this record is garbage, lol nintendo metal" or "HOLY SHIT BEST GUY EVER RETURNS TO SHOW YOU HOW IT'S DONE AND REDEFINES BLACK METAL"
Maybe in five years it can be discussed.
First, fuck the language of advertising encroaching onto grindcore records and fuck everyone who let it happen (the "who" that entails is a more complex answer than "Magrudergrind gone done fucked up"). Second, fuck almost everyone on both sides of the debate except Ryan McKenney of Trap Them who wrote the only genuinely compelling piece about Scion that i read this year.
My opinion on the subject is considerably more nuanced than the simple "fuck Scion" this reads like (but still, fuck Scion)and will appear in the tenth anniversary issue of Short, Fast and Loud magazine early next year. I was considering posting it here as well, but at 4,000 words it's far too long for a blog post even by my wordy standards. E mail me if you want to read it and buy the magazine anyway when it comes out.
The death of Peter Christopherson.
Most of my heros are dead. See earlier lengthy post about it.
Myspace being irredeemably awful
I wrote all this stuff about complexity theory and eco-cycle lenses in terms of Myspace and their failure to move effectively with the people using their services. Then i figured why even bother and just deleted it. Myspace is a largely dead concern.
The Endless Blockade and Joshua Norton Cabal Myspace pages can stay where they are for now; they're unused anyway. Slaughter Strike's page will be deleted as soon as Google redirects people to Bandcamp more often than it does to our Myspace. I'm trying out a Soundcloud page for Nameless Dread. Here's something:
Crowned and conquering child by nameless dread
I'm still figuring out if i like Soundcloud or not.
Well, shit, it feels like i had something released every three weeks this year and 2010 has undoubtedly been my most productive year in terms of physical releases.
The Endless Blockade finally died a death in 2010, i guess it's time to stop pretending we're on hiatus. The Bastard Noise split finally came out and i was pretty pleased with both that and the Unearthly Trance split as being our final major statements.
The BN split was based on taking the formula of Primitive and applying it to a section of chapters to make a linear, yet hopefully cohesive whole. The UT split was a recycling process; taking the weirder elements that the BN split threw up and putting them back into the template i set up for the writing of Primitive.
And i realise that this is very much seen as the blog of That-Guy-From-The-Endless-Blockade so i should probably announce now that after taking a year off writing power violence i recently started working on new material with Eric King that largely picks up the pace where Blockade stopped.
It's early days yet, there's probably less than ten minutes of material so far (based on new writing and finding an unused Blockade rehearsal tape with just the two of us). Anyway, the upshot of this is that there will be something in 2011 by Column of Heaven, possibly nothing more than a demo tape but there will be something.
My time is pretty constrained with full time school, two part time jobs and Slaughter Strike and when Eric says "yeah, i totally want to rehearse this week" there's only a 30% chance that he actually does want to rehearse.
Slaughter Strike continued on at a glacial pace, which i'm definitely ok with. After spending the last seven years as sole decision maker for most things i'm happy taking a collaborative approach to running a band again. In 2011 expect our full length (currently half written) and some dates in the eastern and mid-west US in august. Possibly the west coast of Canada around april/ may, but that's highly debatable at this point.
And in my post-Blockade world i tried my hand at some different stuff. Here's a download for you.
Two of the tracks are by Nameless Dread, one is for the full length coming out on Crucial Blaze the other is a remix of a Cutty Ranks song, probably never to be released and more a learning excercise than anything else. The problem with electronic music is the ability to edit things forever and never stop. After about twenty different versions of Limb By Limb i can already hear things that need to be changed with the mix. The other two tracks are just things i was pissing around with and are unlike anything else i'm known for (Nameless Dread still has a relatively industrial edge to it)
Thursday, December 16, 2010
Ten years ago there was a Norton/ Cornucopia split CDR on Audio Intruder Pain. AIP ended up being the straw that broke the camels back; after something like five labels in a row screwed me on copies of my releases i gave up on releasing noise for over five years.
Alonso, if you're reading this feel free to send me copies of Sounds for Heads and the second press of the Cornucopia split... Anytime you're ready...
Anyway, Jorge from Cornucopia asked me to do a second split/ collaboration with him when he heard i was releasing noise again and this is the result.
It took forever to come out, entirely due to my initial reticence to release my track for a year or so. I had some hare brained ideas about where i wanted to go with Norton for a short while; the problem with being a one person act is that there's no one to say "don't do that" except yourself. Anyway, this is an anomaly in my back catalogue, it doesn't really sit easily with any of my stuff. Had i released a few different things in various permuations of this style it would be different.
It's basically a thirteen minute track made up almost entirely of other peoples music (not noise) with the occasional field recording mixed in and endlessly reworked and regurgitated into a new composition (not music). Consequently it never really gets all that harsh or bass heavy. At times i guess it's slightly like some sections on Shattered Hand (last track on Inner Light).
But yeah, for about a year i was being a giant baby and decided i didn't want to hear it ever again (it's playing in the background as i type this and i can't really figure out what the hell i thought was wrong with it to be honest).
Actually, the tape's called Emanations and i was in some weird Qabala head space at the time so there's probably some mystic shit that i've forgotten about as to why it flows the way it does.
I also submitted a much shorter track of reworked Cornucopia materials.
Collaborations are always a tricky beast for me; if the source material is excellent i ask myself "what can i do with this? It doesn't need any work" and if they're too unfinished i say "what can i do with this? It needs too much work."
Which is why i rarely get involved in collaborations. This one turned out pretty good though and is quite listenable. Cornucopia did a great job reworking the harsh noise material i sent them. There's a Norton/ Frailty of Angels collaboration that i'm quite happy with that should be out early next year too.
You should buy this direct from Cornucopia/ Sonora as they're offering it to you for the princely sum of $6 PPD anywhere in the world. Given that it costs me almost $7 to mail a single cassette to the US (apparently we have the third most expensive postal system in the world or something) and the US $ has been at parity with the Canadian $ for over a year now, meaning there's really no point in anyone ordering it from me.
You can hear samples of the two collaboration tracks on the order page.
The Body - All The Waters of the Earth Turn to Blood
Noose - 2009 demo
Lycanthropic Warhead - Infinite Castigation
Hooded Menace - Never Cross the Dead
Death in June - Peaceful Snow
Cutty Ranks - Six Million Ways to Die
Rot - Diabolus (the Unholy Rot)
As Loud As Possible
Journey to the end of the Night - Celine
Kosmology - Jeremy Christner
Anyway, there's a 30 second Joshua Norton Cabal track on there. I tried to apply power violence dynamics to a noise track, came out OK i guess.
Here's what some guy on the internet said about my contribution:
The disturbing image in the booklet warned me, but the music frightened me without premonition. I think this is a duo, but I may be wrong, and they deliver a very disturbing mix of concrete music, harsh noise, ambient and industrial, everything topped with super pissed off screaming. Pretty interesting stuff!
Great comp, had a listen to it this morning. Put it on in the background, ignored the tracklist and treated it as if it was a 70 minute single piece of music, utterly enjoyable. There's something for everyone; noisecore, grindcore, noise, grindnoise, noisegrind. Every single genre of music in the world worth listening to is on here.
The CD booklet also has some writings by Andy from Mortville, Wadge, some other guy and someone that was in The Scroungers. Three of the four pieces are excellent and worth a read.
You should buy one from the label. (Plus Andy was in Captain Three Leg)
Friday, November 26, 2010
Death, dying, art, culture and "famous" people - one explanation as to why we're bummed out when celebrities die
Person on the internet #1,876,345 writing about the death of Peter Christopherson...
For those of you unaware you can read a decent eulogy in The Guardian here and from former bandmate Chris Carter here.
To my mind a major function of art and in particular music, is to carry difficult emotions of the consumer so they are better equipped to deal with them.
Unconsciously or concsiously, it doesn't really matter and people tend to do both, we seek out music that captures a certain moment of our lives and encode that moment into the sound. To this day i still can't hear Wonderwall by Oasis, a song which i don't even like, without getting slightly misty eyed as it reminds me intensely of an important period of my life where that song always seemed to be in the background.
People often listen to angry music when they've had a bad day for a reason. Frequently it's because they can project their feelings on to the music and then get on with their day. Similarly some people would rather listen to something that functions as soothing because of the mental and emotional association they've trained themselves to attach to whatever the piece in question is.
I believe that a small but significant part of the music industry's dying gasp is happening because in the 1980s there was a concerted effort to tie more and more music with more and more useless consumer products that ultimately only held a fleeting meaning; it's hard to get stoked on a night on the town when your anthem now makes you think of sanitary towels or low fat yoghurt.
When celebrities or artists die i believe a lot of the reason many feel a sense of loss towards people they never even met and probably had little in common with is not some misplaced sense of worship but the sudden loss of a deeply personal sense of sharing.
Whether you care or not Nirvana wrote songs that millions of people felt encapsualted some of their sense of alientation and loneliness in the world. When the creator of those songs took his own life i have no doubt that the effect on many was a feeling that the songs that in some way helped them had either been pulled away from them, or that now there was a new layer of grief encoded into their meaning for the listener.
This is in a sense how i feel about the passing of Peter Christopherson. After a sudden death very close to me i listened to a lot of music (it's what i do...) and found that certain pieces by Coil, amongst others, helped me substantially to deal with the drowning sensation that i find true grief to be.
The real help they gave me is hard to adequately explain, but as i talk about above it was really just a conscioius transferring of emotion of my behalf so i could try and turn off the sensation of loss.
On a certain level, hearing that Christopherson died in his sleep this week brings back some of those emotions to me again. Coil's music helped me get through a difficult patch of my life; i can listen to Wraiths and Strays now and i appreciate it as both a fine piece of music and a bittersweet mnemonic device that helps me remember both the good times i had with my friend and the hole in the world that i will always feel in his absence. And it's a sensation of loss i neither want to have clouding my thoughts constantly nor is it something i want to forget; it's just too fucking important to me.
So Christopherson's death brings some of that back to me. I'm sad for the death of someone important in my life who i never met and i'm reminded again of the very tangible loss in my own world.
There are lots of "if it wasn't for abc then def wouldn't exist" in the world and honestly, were it not for industrial culture and in particular Throbbing Gristle and Coil, then The Endless Blockade and any related output and this blog would have turned out quite differently.
Even more than Throbbing Gristle, Coil have long encapsulated almost everything i've looked for in music and culture for my entire adult life now. My early experiences generally revolved around being stoned out my gourd listening to Transparent, in particular Sicktone where everyone would basically try really hard to make themselves feel nauseated by listening to it as loud as possible. As my drug use progressed it became dropping purple oms and listening to Love's Secret Domain and Stolen and Contaminated Songs on repeat for eight hours straight. And i got pretty bored of drugs by about 1994 but have maintained my obsession with Coil since.
Ah, what else can i say? The man was a genius (as was partner Jhonn Balance); i don't think he's ever been on a record i didn't like. I'm not really one for nostaliga most of the time but i decided to travel to Chicago to see Throbbing Gristle last year, the main reason being less about TG and more so i could witness Peter Christopherson and Chris Carter perform.
I guess given the tone of this piece i should use this opportunity to state publically that i want Fire of the Mind played at my funeral. Someone point my family in the direction of this blog when the time comes.
In the last two months i've found myself listening to a lot of Coil again. I put up the Nameless Dread link last week (and thank you for the kind comments) which a number of people refered to as breakcore or similar. The truth is that most of it is influenced by Coil filtered through my love of power electronics and grindcore. And if you listen to the opening of Some Names Must Always Remain Unspoken you'll notice the track is built around the main refrain from What a Day by Throbbing Gristle (whether that was Carter or Christopherson's idea i have no idea...).
This week i was also in the infant stages of figuring out a Nameless Dread take on the Coil song Triple Sun and have also been reading Mick Fish' book on Cabaret Voltaire (the band), Industrial Evolution, which makes several references to Throbbing Gristle.
And if you've managed to get this far and your interest in music doesn't go that far beyond hardcore and metal then this interview is a great introduction to some of the thoughts of the man. It's worth watching the entire thing whenever you have a spare fifteen minutes.
"We are all only temporary curators of our present bodies, which will all decay, sooner or later. In a hundred years or so all the humans currently alive will have died. I take great comfort in knowing, with certainty, that thing that makes us special, able to enrich our own lives and those of others, will not cease when our bodies do but will be just starting a new (and hopefully even better) adventure ... "
Friday, November 19, 2010
URINE COP IS ADAM JENNINGS (WINTERS IN OSAKA) AND ERIC KING (THE ENDLESS BLOCKADE, SLAUGHTER STRIKE)
LIMITED TO 35.
EVEN MORE FILTH, FEEDBACK, PITCHSHIFTED VOCALS, AND BLASTBEATS THAN THE FIRST DEMO.
THIS IS HARSH NOISE LO FI BLACK WAR METAL GRINDNOISECORE SHIT.
EMAIL ME AT: MEATALULCER@AOL.COM FOR MORE INFO
More drums forcing a structure on the new one (which is about three weeks newer than the first one...). Vocals are kinda like Revenge.
Still lo-fi noisecore blast
a playlist just because:
Death SS - Horned God of the Witches
Kathaaria - The Complex Void of Negativity
Integrity - Systems Overload
and new experiments are inconclusive but this is a partial early result
Thursday, November 11, 2010
I wrote about Ebola last year and posted the 7" we recorded here.
The internet is failing me today and i'm unable to find a picture of me when twenty two and much skinnier/ less crushed by life as i was in this band. Actually, i was probably more crushed by life than i am these days but what ever.
During the recording of this LP i had pnuemonia and could barely breathe. I'd also worked night shift for the entire week before (and the entire week after). Daylight hours were about 9:30am until 3pm at that time of year in Newcastle (if it got light at all). Consequently as my weekend off was spent in a windowless studio i didn't see any natural light for two weeks and basically felt like killing myself. All great stuff to pile on top of my clincally depressed younger self; i think my grandfather would've called it character building.
Anyway, the only Ebola full length, recorded back in 1995. Probably the most 'tuneful' thing i've ever been a part of.
And this is exactly what download blogs should be for, not "for review purposes only" new releases
Thursday, November 4, 2010
Before our posthumous collaboration with Tupac Shakur drops let this beast whet your appetite.
Recorded in early 2007 and largely forgotten about the material on this split was written and recorded in the transition period we had between Turn Illness Into a Weapon and Primitive. Along with the Hatred Surge split these songs bridge the aesthetic gap between the two full lengths.
Earlier versions of some of these songs were on the Trapped in a Scene comp on 625. Most of these songs were originally ear-marked for the session that eventually became the Hatred Surge split. Not sure why all the changes occured; i'm sure there was a good reason at the time.
And much like the Hatred Surge split these songs were also recorded in our practice space.
Note to all budding home recording enthusiasts; if you tune to B and play at loud volumes you need to sit your computer on a large piece of foam so you don't keep getting disk errors due to massive amounts of vibration. Or try and move it out of the same room as the 8x10. Whichever's easier.
The lyrics to IPCR are printed incorrectly. They should read "Children call me Hungry Knife and creep silent with love for Earth" which is a line from one of many letters penned by Lynette Fromme and Sandra Goode in the wake of the Manson Family's demise. Quite which eco-unfriendly CEO or politician they were threatening to murder in that particular communique escapes me just now.
And speaking of eco-unfriendly, the first song, Pest Control, is the closest i'll ever get to writing something on a vaguely ecological matter.
For a long time i've personally felt one of the failures of the green movement to engage the general populace is its refusal to reframe the subject matter in more honest terms.
The bottom line is we aren't killing the Earth and we're actually unlikely to destroy it. The Earth however will destroy us at the rate we're going.
When we talk in terms of how we're killing the planet we're still engaging in this idea that human race is the be all and end all and that the universe revolves around our every act.
In a broad sense i believe you can tie this into the cult of individualism and some of the longer lasting destructive shifts that occured under Reagan and Thatcher's legacy in the 1980s. And in the same way that WWII is far more historically nuanced than "some bad man invaded Poland" i recognise that the "me" generation is not simply a result of the shift towards Third Way politics.
Enough. We'll see if that opens up a can of worms i'm utterly unprepared for on the comments page or not. It could go either way.
The idiotically named Regurgitated Semen Records from Germany released this one. They can call themselves RSR all they like but everyone knows they're really called Regurgitated Semen Records. I guess there's some kind of a lesson to be learned about not naming your label after a Meat Shits demo when you're a teenager in there somewhere.
On the A side of the record (we're definitely playing second fiddle here) is the incredible Wadge; Ontarios greatest video store owning Tiki grindcore one man band. Number one in a field of one.
Some people may take me to task here and say "i thought you didn't like humour in music?" Well, Wadge is deadly serious. That's all there is to it. Wadge rules; nothing more to be said.
Tsawalk - Richard Atleo
Saints, Scholars and Schizophrenics: Mental Illness in Rural Ireland - Nancy Scheper-Hughes
Rabelais and his World - Mikhail Bakhtin
Violence in War and Peace
Only Death is Real - Tom G fucking Warrior
Cloaks - Desolate Turves
Diocletian - War of All Against Y'all
Ride for Revenge - In the Spirit of Ultimate Sacrifice
Rudimentary Peni - Farce
Wednesday, October 27, 2010
Expect blown out noise and blast beats, like an ultra lo-fi version of One Handed Christ Destroyer from the Blockade Unearthly Trance split but with more variation in the drumming. Influenced by World and the like and the last song, which is by far my favourite is apparently an Ildjarn cover.
If you want to relive (or pretend you were there) the days of receiving obscure noisecore tapes from far away lands (hey, Ohio was pretty far away when i lived in Newcastle) then this is probably the nostalgia trip for you.
Nostalgia or not i enjoyed this release a lot.
Urine Cop also played their first and last ever show recently which was a great night out; Cannibal Ferox 35mm print on the big screen followed by a power electronics show just up the street.
Eric did vocals at the end of the set, i wish he`d do more. Every single time i`ve seen Eric do some vocals he`s totally into it, then just loses his place, laughs to himself off microphone and gives up. You can usually anticipate him wrenching all power supplies to his noise gear out of the wall within about 30 seconds of this occuring.
True Music for True Music fans.
Also playing that night were Disgust. There's been a Norton/ Disgust split tape lost in the works for a while now though i understand it's actually coming out shortly.
It was cool to hang out with Mackenzie from Disgust, he's someone who clearly understands the ritual function of art in working through different aspects of personality. I'm not refering to either of the common cliches of catharsis or the interminably crappy "if i didn't play in this band i'd go out and kill people" schtick.
Our understanding of violence in the world match up at the edges and it was interesting to hear his views on the nature of God; i hadn't considered his perspective before (we're from vastly different cultural backgrounds though which has a lot to do with it)
So far this year i think by far my favourite live experiences have been Swans (Toronto; New York wasn't nearly as good) and Autopsy; as i'm getting older i'm suprised to find myself wanting a little more spectacle at shows. Disgust is actually the third most enjoyable live experience i've had this year.
Four guys huddled tightly around a table with a handful of noise equipment; unnassuming, focused, hostile, unconcerned with anything in the room except the table and each other. I feel they would have given it as much had they been playing to no one. There was something intangibly honest about the whole thing that sat well with me.
Power violence dynamics applied to noise and it was everything that a power violence performance should be (and is sadly lacking in most).
Disgust understand the core is the intent; not the useless trimmings holding it together, they come secondary. Genre as a vehicle for greater expression.
Also highly recommended is the Constrictions tape; more power violence approaches to power electronics
Download their demo here and the Zero Discrimination tape here
Tuesday, October 12, 2010
New Joshua Norton Cabal release, Inner Light is out now on CD. In Europe get it from Chimera from anywhere else send me an e mail (it's in my profile).
About 80% of this one was made with reamplified metal and one and a half Trogtronic boxes (the half was a decidely busted 665). I used the Blockade backline at Audiolab studio for an afternoon and made Chris Hegge laugh like a drain as i demanded more and more ridiculous configurations of amps and devices at ludicrous volume.
The last track uses a lot of field recordings i've collected over the years and is the tale of the evolution of my occasionally disconnected mind reduced to a fifteen minute piece.
Originally i had a few vocal tracks recorded as well but for some reason (perhaps a sudden bust of self awareness leading to a lack of confidence) i cut them all and left it entirely vocal free.
Art and layout was done by Joce again (he also did the Blockade/ Unearthly Trance split)
The basic theme of Inner Light is a celebration of the irrational internal flame and how it informs other aspects of my life and thinking.
As someone with close to twenty years of involvement in DIY culture i'm often asked what keeps me motivated to stay involved? Why do i still bother? Sometimes it seems like these questions are daring me to speak to all of the ultimately petty ills we could all share about the more frustrating side of hardcore/ noise/ metal/ avant garde/ youth based cutures. Generally i don't need to do that in public too much; if you want to hear other people piss and moan i feel you can look to any cock on a message board and get your fill there.
Of the many answers i can give the easiest one is a very simple "it's pretty much all i know". It's the same with my choosing to not eat meat. Sure, i had a solid ideological reason a long time ago and for a while there i was definitely every cliche of the vegan police you could think of, but after more than two decades it just becomes normal. If pressed i could undoubtedly give you a long list of reasons why it's important to me, but it would be delivered with all the passion of why breathing air or learning to read is important.
Anyone who's familiar with anything i've written over the last five years or so will be aware i tend to fall down the rabbit-hole when it comes to discussing the symbolism and semiotics of whatever culture it is i belong to (these days i feel i'm unable to say what it is i'm attached with any degree of precision by merely saying "hardcore").
One of the questions i've mulled over a lot recently is "if we base much of our public front on rejectionism (and *we* really do, just look at your record collection) what are the values and acts that we find beauty in? What are our standards beyond refusing certain models of interaction with the world?" What is said by its exclusion in dialogue?
With that in mind an aspect of Inner Light is my ongoing quest to determine what it is i personally find beauty and value in.
One of the things i've been very aware of for a long time is the current that runs through my life that informs all other aspects of my self identity. It informs my creative urge, it informs my way of thinking, it informs my career path and pretty much every other aspect of my life i can think of. Taking every individual aspect and putting them together does nothing to really illuminate what this current is though.
Unfortunately anytime anyone ever attempts to speak to a sense of calling the connotations are often too closely linked to a religious impulse. Or worse we invoke the modern soft-agnosticism of refering to things as being "spiritual" which has become a term even less meaningful or agreed on than Anarchism in this day and age.
In this blog i've often reduced it to a necessarily simplistic reference to The Occult, which as any boring pedant can tell you merely means "hidden".
I see a lot of other pop references to The Occult in culture and in particular modern music. From some quarters there is the knowing nodding head of assent, from others the open frustration that nothing is ever really specified and from the rest either outright rejection and calls of "bullshit" or an utter disinterest.
My own feelings on the matter (like it's a single "thing"...) are that if any ideology you subscribe to in this life is not a living, evolving system/ praxis that enables you to negotiate meaning in the world then you should give it up. I don't think it matters that much how you negotiate meaning, as long as you do it.
And finally, though i reject (for many many reasons) the god awful cliche (as it's become) of the personal is political, particularly when applied en masse to the drabber ends of the hardcore spectrum in the 1990s; i think there is a huge validity in the also cliched notion of becoming the change that you want to see in the world.
Lest you think i'm some kind of yoga mat carrying hippy let me qualify that by saying that this is not an inherently fuzzy and nice concept. The change you might want in the world could be utterly hostile to the change i want and vice versa.
More people need to practice or at least understand the principles of agonism and pluralism.
Pimp Action Slutgun - Body Scrap LP
SFN - Itching 7"
Autopsy - The Tomb Within 12"
Gunter Saxenhammer - Interstellar Overkill CDR
Universal Order of Armageddon - discography CD
well, entering a masters program is kicking the shit out of my ability to read for fun (and also my opportunity to write music) but here's two books i've enjoyed recently
Wendy Doniger - The Implied Spider
Roland Barthes - Mytholgies
Quitting my job was the second best move i ever made in my life (the first was immigrating to Canada). School is particularly novel to me as i don't actually have much in the way of a formal education.
Tuesday, October 5, 2010
Several years ago Sex Professionals of Canada launched a constitutional challenge on laws that made it illegal to "communicate for the purposes of prostitution". The argument being that if sex workers were robbed, assaulted or raped on the job then reporting these crimes was self incriminating.
The courts agreed and felt that the laws were both unconstitutional and added more potential violence and danger into sex worker's lives.
About seven years ago i wrote a song called Pimp Killer for The Endless Blockade; it's the first song on the Come Friendly Bombs ep. As ever at it's heart was a sense of frustration and inability to change things i personally felt were wrong with the world.
I recognise that language is in an almost permanent state of flux and one of the reasons that English is such a strong language is its ability to constantly adapt (obviously discussions on colonialism and language can be skipped here).
I guess my issues with the word pimp came at a time when quite by chance i was involved in several different projects that involved sex workers. I'd delivered several housing workshops to different groups of sex workers and one of the community development projects i was leading involved taking a popular education (Paulo Freire and all that jazz) approach to empowering groups to form their own coalitions and advocacy groups that included several sex workers in their numbers.
And if you can mediate a group of active drug users into politicised roles you can pretty much do any group facilitation...
Anyway, someone around this time referred to my handsome pitbull (who was at the time wearing a slightly altered child's fleece with a Man is the Bastard patch sewn on the back; it was winter time) as "totally pimpin'!" Quite what that actually meant i have no idea but at the time there was clearly a move in our society to change the word pimp (Pimp My Ride for one other example).
Having moderated several groups in Toronto involving sex workers and the amount of crisis intervention work i did in Glasgow with sex workers who'd had the shit kicked out of them buy their johns, pimps and lawyers (an ugly story indeed) i wasn't impressed by this move and wrote a completely emasculated song from this perspective.
And slightly related the song Black Economy on our first LP was inspired in part by Alan Young's book Defiling Justice (he was the lawyer for SPOC)
A music related post coming later this week, i promise.
Sunday, September 12, 2010
With that in mind i think it was Carl Rogers, chief theorist behind Person-Centred Counselling, who felt that the act of openly verbalising responses to questions was a way to get people to understand what their actual feelings were about the given topic. But like i said, i deliberately forget a lot of the specifics of most theory after a few years of using it solidly.
And this is pretty much how i've always viewed interviews; as a quasi self-indulgent way for me to work through some of my opinions on the world and how it works, though usually only in the relatively narrow (but by no means unimportant) terms of the culture of music.
In a sense this blog is really a record for me of things i've said so i can keep some kind of track of it. Almost like a diary in a way, though the Tumblr page i have is much more of a (largely symbolic) record of current personal activities and obsessions. Similar to tattoos or the more less defined in intent sigil stuff i've done, though far less serious than either of those.
Last night during a drastic lull at work i found the following two interviews from three years ago.
In the longer one some of my predictions about the state of the scene seemed to come true. All hail my mighty divination powers i guess...
In the shorter one i didn't really feel much empathy to the article or publication and the content of my responses shows this.
Haggatha - 2nd LP
Drainland/ Grinding Halt 10"
Mauthausen Orchestra - Vernichtung Lebenunwerten Leben 2xLP
Witchrist - Ancient Tombs demo
The Damned - s/t LP
Kevin Coogan - Dreamer of the Day: Francis Parker Yockey and the Postwar Fascist International
John Gray - False Dawn: The Delusions of Global Capitalism
Destroying Angles #10
Robert Anton Wilson - Sex, Drugs and Magick
Hans Heinz Ewers - Nachtmair
Nolan – Minister of Propaganda and Information
How do you feel about ther term powerviolence?Would you consider powerviolence to be a good classification of your band? Do you agree or disagree that it is sort of a trendy subgenre of hardcore right now?
I have no problem with admitting we're a power violence influenced band. As for it being a trendy sub-genre, it really depends on how you define trendy; a tiny sub-section of a small scene (hardcore in 2007) isn't really trendy in my opinion.
Or maybe it means people playing a style of music without either the necessary skill or the proper understanding of the genre to accomplish their desired results. In which case it could conceivably be called trendy, but I don't know that the existence of obviously lousy bands is the only criteria we should use.
What is the song Haymaker Vs. Manowar about?
I have a Manowar DVD (sampled on our second demo) where Joey Dimao is talking about encouraging their fans to destroy a club during a video shoot.
Haymaker, for those who don't know, basically can't play live anymore (or rarely can) because in Ontario the audience just fucking smashes any venue they play to pieces.
So it's basically drawing a minor parallel between Manowar and Haymaker. Of course my money is on Haymaker winning every single time and I suspect Manowar fans did little in the way of any real destruction.
footage from the infamous Haymaker show at The Corktown
How long was Ryo in the band? How long has this current lineup been in existence?
Ryo was in Canada for approximately a year, we managed to record the first demo and have an abortive attempt at recording the LP with him on drums (which was salvaged as the second demo and Come Friendly Bombs 7"). Ryo also contributes a vocal freakout at the start of Island on the Warzone Womyn LP.
He can now be found mainly in Sete Star Sept back in Tokyo and probably in about eight million jazz/ noise projects. And sometimes he jams with the legendary Keiji Heino. [and sete star sept]
The current and final line up of The Endless Blockade has been together since late 2004
I didnt get to witness this myself, but i heard that T.E.B served as the backing band for Hatred Surge. How did that come about? Did you serve as the backing band for the Euro tour?How was it ?
For those who don't know, Hatred Surge is one guy playing every instrument on his recordings, so he has to get hired guns to play live with him.
The Endless Blockade is basically the Canadian franchise of Hatred Surge. We've done one show as Hatred Surge and have a few more in august 2007 on the cards. [ultimately we played a total two shows as Hatred Surge and obviously Hatred Surge is an actual full band now]
The European tour line up for Hatred Surge was Jon and Jensen from Iron Lung and Ben from The Endless Blockade with Alex and it was by far the best I've seen Hatred Surge and I think I've seen all the incarnations bar the Alex plus iPod early days.
Speaking of the European tour, how was that?
Good, if a little sedate at times, possibly due to D Beat's vice like grip around the neck of many scenes currently. D Beat in 2007 is as expected and as bland and formulaic as Youth Crew was in the late eighties and will be the death knell of hardcore over the next few years.
Playing shows is the least important part of touring for me and I consider Jon and Jensen from Iron Lung, Alex from Hatred Surge, the rest of Blockade and the others that came on tour with us as very close friends so it was a great time for me.
What was the best show on the European tour?
Mannheim was cool, as were Leipzig, Gent, Strasbourg and Groningen.
Is the name The Endless Blockade taken from the GISM song, or is there a deeper meaning?
I comes from GISM, there was a deeper meaning and like the best magick it only works when you forget the original intention and I pretty much have at this point…
Do the band members hold down regular jobs while not touring?
I manage to pay my habitual record buying debts with ease and aplomb, yes
On the split with Warzone Womyn, your side consists of an amazing, crushing near 20 minute sludge song. What was the idea for this?
It's just a natural part of our sound; we're not all fast fast fast thirty second songs. We just wanted to draw out some of slower influences a bit. There'll be some more releases in a related vein in the future. [i shit canned all of these except the Bastard Noise split]
As someone who has been involved with hardcore and diy for a while, where do you see these things headed?What bands/people do you feel are doing the genre justice and keeping this subculture breathing?
Hard to tell really. I guess the thing that keeps me going this long is by really narrowing my parameters of what I'm into; consequently I don't get burned out on punk because I don't buy every flash in the pan hyped record and go see every show that comes within fifty mile radius anymore.
Trendwise I see the D Beat thing going on longer and in certain parts of the world crushing what's considered acceptable in hardcore.
I see more and more useless D Beat bands who are merely emo bands with gruff singers and punk drummers.
I think at some point in the future discerning metal heads will start producing convincingly good black metal bands with large crust influences. I don't really see a future in punk bands trying their hands at black metal though, all the examples I've seen over the years have been pretty bad to be honest.
I think in the US audiences will get younger and in Europe they'll get older. All of which will mean is that in Europe shows will be very mellow yet financially viable and in the US the reverse; shows will be exciting, yet less easy to break even on.
Related to this I think hardcore will get safer and safer and then someone somewhere will say enough and bring back some kind of edge and sense of danger, elitism (punk really is not for everyone and we need to bring that back) and radicalism (however you choose to define that). [this might be one of the first times where i unashamedly used the word elitism.]
And people will continue to make limited tour only merch as a way of forcing people to buy the records direct from the band on tour.
I think we'll see some of the bigger distros and labels collapse for trying to please everyone all of the time instead of focusing on specific genres and ideas.
As for who's keeping the subculture breathing I'm just going to give a very very small list of punk bands I currently enjoy that others might not have heard of:
SFN from Wisconsin, Judas from LA, Suburban Disease from the UK, Grinding Halt from The Netherlands, Brain Handle from Pittsburgh, Dirty BS from Toronto, The Process from the UK, Staat Haat from The Netherlands, Black Shape of Nexus from Germany and Living in Darkness from Toronto
What can we be on the lookout for from The Endless Blockade?
In 2007 we're recording the following:
A split 7" with Wadge, a collaboration LP with Bastard Noise and Primitive, our second LP proper, to be released on 20 Buck Spin. [and apparently the Wadge split is out]
No more tours this year and we'll see what 2008 brings.
Well holy shit did that ever
a) ruffle a lot of feathers
b) form the focus for 90% of conversations at the merch table for two years
c) give 99% of interviewers a new question i didn't want to have to answer
d) make already shit "recommend me some power violence like Tragedy and MK Ultra" message board posts even more shit for about a year or so.
After Wood's glowing recomendation Anthony Bartkewicz, who wrote the article for Decibel magazine about power violence where we received said musical reach around, also asked me for a few soundbites. These are the unedited questions and answers that they ultimately trimmed down.
1. A few years removed and on an opposite coast from the original PV bands, what is it that makes you feel aligned with PV instead of just grind or hardcore?
it's the music that really drew me in during that early - mid 90s blackspot of diy hardcore, when faux humanism, tolerance for morons, celebrations of inadequacies and screen printed manila envelopes were de riguer. It cut through the bullshit and laid waste to everything in its path; it synthesized Heresy, Neos, Ripcord, Larm, Impact Unit and many other greats perfectly, updating them for a new era and always keeping an eye on the roots that grew before.
As for being aligned with PV, i'd say we're a power violence influenced band, or a neo-power violence band.
We still feel aligned with hardcore (primarily), grindcore (secondarily) and noise/ power electronics (thirdly), we just know what makes our sound and how to filter our influences cohesively. We know that if we're going to lift an Autopsy riff then there are certain changes we have to make in order for it to fit our parameters. Look at Darkthrone: they're heavily influenced by punk and crust but their records are definitely black metal records, not mere World Burns to Death or No Security clones.
2. What (if anything) do you think separated/separates PV bands from grind or hardcore?
at the time nothing really seperated them from hardcore. In retrospect it was a very short lived moment that can barely even be called a movement (that came after the originators largely burned themselves out) that was running on total nihilistic anger, the kind of which hardcore just wasn't producing anymore.
[at the time] Hardcore consisted of too many tales of betrayed friendships and the horrors of Reagan's legacy; all delivered with the passion of a shopping list
i don't consider PV to have much in common with grindcore
3. Which of the original west coast PV bands were the most influential/inspriational to you?
My favourite record of the era is definitely the No Comment - Downsided 7", you can't fake that despondent rage. As far as inspiration goes the oppression of Crossed Out and Neanderthal appeal to us most. We aren't interested in the joke bullshit that came in the wake of Spazz (second wave power violence) or Charles Bronson (not power violence)
*cheers Dave Adelson
Sunday, August 22, 2010
We sat in my back garden for and talked for a few hours whilst the dog tried to dig a hole to China.
I'm usually extremely reticent to do in-person interviews; on the whole i have terrible self editing skills when talking and have a tendency to respond as if i'm at a job interview
The results can be found here.
Although it's edited down to 25 minutes there's still a vast amount of contradictory rambling and bullshit to force yourself through.
Lost in the edits are a long discussion about violent films (i made Mike go watch William Luistig's Maniac after the interview), and probably a whole bunch of other bullshit. I think there was something about WWII and measuring human history in increments far larger than the lifespan of a human.
I also completely neglected to answer Mike's question on magick properly (he asked specifically about Thelema) and went off on a largely unrelated tangent. I may or may not rectify that with a blog post in the near future, i'm still undecided as to whether or not i can be bothered typing it out and if it's anything other than utter self-indulgence to post here. Does anyone really care how i use the hermetic Qabalah in my daily life? (That's a hypothetical question by the way)
I was also asked to contribute a playlist and if you're interested this is what i requested they play:
Bastard - Shikabane
No Security - Rattvisans Hand
Repulsion - Festering Boils
Haymaker - In Home Surveillance
Korpse - To Be Continued...?
Godflesh - Life is Easy
Neanderthal - Fluids
Crossed Out - Neglect
Despise You - It's All in God's Hands Now
Man Is The Bastard - Idget Child
Infest - Sick Machine
Heresy - Ghettoised
Cro Mags - Hard Times
Bad Brains - Attitude
Autopsy - Ridden With Disease
Necrophagia - Cannibal Holocaust
suprisingly only one person tried to fight Matthew
Monday, August 16, 2010
New Joshua Norton Cabal C20, Between Two Fires, available from Swim Harder. You can hear some of the second track on the tape at the myspace page and you can find their webstore somewhere there too.
This release represents the second chapter (the first being the unreleased split with the very excellent Disgust that Small Doses is putting out) in Norton's slightly new direction of having vocals and ocassional more musical flourishes.
Thematically it's about martyrdom; killing for a cause on one track and being killed for a cause on the other. Of course ultimately it's all just one guy yelling over a bunch of noise...
And seeing as i just quit my job to start a two year Masters program i need some money to keep myself in weird Nunslaughter records, thus i'm actually going to start selling some of the many releases that keep turning up in the mail that i play on. Currently i have no Blockade or Slaughter Strike releases though.
Here's the list at present:
Joshua Norton Cabal - Between Two Fires C20 $5
Joshua Norton Cabal/ Juhyo split CD $8
The Rita - Womanhood C20 $5 (i found a small amount of copies over the weekend hidden under a pile of dog toys)
Humiliation/ Nekrasov split CD $5
also currently waiting on receiving copies of the Joshua Norton Cabal - Inner Light CD that are somewhere in the mail system. I'll post about that when it's in my hands.
Contact via the e mail address in my blogger profile for paypal and all that jazz
Recent noise playlist:
Gerritt - Space Level Blaze CD
Martin Bladh - Umbilical Cords CD
Control - The Cleansing CD
Craniopagus/ Sharpwaist 7"
Custodian - Toil and Waste CD
Bizarre Uproar - Purification CD
Neil Strauss - Emergency
Evan Wright - Hella Nation
Sunday, August 8, 2010
and whilst i'm on the topic of sound bites at the end of our records, this is the end of the Hatred Surge split (approximately 2:50 onwards). Jonathan would have been 36 in six days time. RIP brother, i still miss you.
Monday, July 12, 2010
Wednesday, July 7, 2010
Monday, July 5, 2010
Unearthly Trance offer up one side long track about submission to animistic guidance when under extreme duress and we have nine tracks that (as ever) mainly use a backdrop of esoteric thought to explore misanthropy and a willful seperation from the rotten modern era.
Most of the music for this one was written via automatic writing techniques; I basically wrote music in the same way i've been 'writing' noise for the last fifteen years.
And speaking of noise, the first track is a vague nod from us to some of the noisecore greats we grew up listening to and the track "I Just Kill" was written by Slogun which was something we had planned to do for a long time. Originally we were going to do it quite differently and write it in a more musical fashion but it didn't really work and time was not on our side so we took the Death Agonies approach to it. Part of me feels that the casual listener will be easier going with a track on one of our records that sounds like that if it's under the guise of being a 'cover' as opposed to a Blockade track.
Our material on this record gets pretty harsh in places and i'm expecting our overall world ranking on "recommend me some power violence" on tedious message boards from here to rural Honshu to drop dramtically. "In before Ceremony and Trash Talk LOL". More on that later this month.
Our friend Joce did the artwork and layout; you've no doubt seen his work on various Portal releases recently. A dead guy with his pineal gland/ Ajna chakra/ Chokmah/ third eye opening fits both the lyrics of the Unearthly Trance side and the composition of our side perfectly.
Next releases are:
Blockade/ Pig Heart Transplant 7" (Super Fi)
Blockade/ Wadge 7" (Regurgitated Semen Records) - this should have been out before Primitive...
Blockade/ Death Agonies 12" (SNSE)
see how much of a liar i was when i said no more splits?
Thursday, July 1, 2010
Thursday, June 24, 2010
New release on Survivalist in celebration of Blockade bringing The Rita back to Toronto (and Montreal for the first time.)
Low end crunch and decay with ghostly formants fighting for recognition. The sound of a dying species yelling into the roar of the universe.
Due to the wonderful G20 i'm unable to get to my tape duplication place until after the world conference of worthless parasites leaves my city.
(I'm also assuming that some misguided soul isn't going to burn down random businesses on the southern part of Bathurst during the inevitable rioting that will occur.)
Thus this tape will be first available at the two Bastard Noise/ Blockade/ The Rita shows on july 2nd and 3rd. E mail (it's in my profile) after then for availability. Tapes are $5 plus postage (which is hideously expensive in Canada)
Saturday, June 19, 2010
I can listen to this material now and i'm ok with it but for years i hated this stuff. Too frustrated that it didn't go more in the direction i was interested in following i guess.
Anyway, download it here and if you don't like it i pretty much agree with you
Friday, June 18, 2010
Apparently there's someone out there with the Fenrir design tattooed on their skin as well.
Friday, June 11, 2010
It's hard for me to say anything else about the subject after that much discussion, but essentially i don't actually feel that analogue media is all that important. I think what's important is what analogue media represents, which as i've talked about before in this blog is the cultural aspect. And when making money is not the central point of your artistic output, then it's usually born out of some kind of (intentionally not defined here) cultural aspiration.
In essence we use analogue media to connect to greater cultural influences; fanzines and vinyl as atavism if you will.
When people talk about a fetish for vinyl they often unconsciously mean "an object regarded with awe as being the embodiment or habitation of a potent spirit or as having magical potency" instead of "any object or nongenital part of the body that causes a habitual erotic response or fixation."
I think it was Douglas Rushkoff that said he was less enamoured with mp3 downloading not because the music industry lost money but because he fondly remembers that listening to a new LP was a communal experience where you invited your friends over to listen with you. I'm not really interested in the olde tyme nostalgic aspect of that point (and my own childhood listening experiences are the same), but the idea of coming together to experience music as a group is definitely something that seem's largely to have been lost. Outside of getting drunk (or not getting drunk) at concerts of course.
Anyway, if you have a two hour attention span for four people bullshitting it's there for you.
The Butt - Will Self
The Art of the Nasty - Nigel Wingrove and Marc Morris
How the World was Made; the story of creation according to sacred geometry - John Michell and Allen Brown
A Bookshelf on top of the Sky: 12 stories about John Zorn
The Vomit Arsonist - Wretch
Rammer - one sided 12"
Complications - s/t
Thursday, June 10, 2010
last time i checked the internet was calling us experimental power violence
and not really related to anything but Devo's new CD is streaming here
Original can be found here
Hi guys, how is The Endless Blockade / Bastard Noise doing these days?
The Endless Blockade: We live.
Bastard Noise: Bastard Noise (now The Bastard Noise) is doing very well thank you but of course we always see room for improvement - we have Connell (man is the bastard) back in the drum throne and he has never sounded more progressive/heavy so things are great! We are getting ready to do a full US tour this summer and our brand new full length 12" LP/CD (with bass a.k.a. "four steel girders", drums, electronics and vocals) will be released before we leave in June. It is titled ‘A Culture Of Monsters’. The 12" LP version will be released by Deep Six Records here in California (www.deepsixrecords.com) and the compact disc version will be a "joint" release between the two Minneapolis, Minnesota-based labels Housepig Records (www.housepigrecords.com) and Hear More! (www.hearmorerecords.com) It came out totally sick and heavy!
This interview is going to be part of a Bastard Noise/The Endless Blockade split-interview: do you have anything to say to those guys?
The Endless Blockade: See you in July?
Bastard Noise: The Endless Blockade simply fucking rule both as people and as a band - they are progressive thinkers with a different angle every time they document their sound.
Can you tell me when you first heard Bastard Noise / The Endless Blockade and what your thoughts were?
The Endless Blockade: I first heard Bastard Noise as Man is the Bastard began to change into a different beast. Bastard Noise has several different periods that represent a continuous evolution, perhaps mirroring a desire for the human race to evolve along similar lines (as above so below). They’ve changed from their initial sound of primal yelling over primitive oscillations to incredibly complex and uniquely composed sound work that are always unmistakably their own. With the current and latest change they’ve left life in the ocean long behind, ascended Jacobs Ladder fully and challenged Metatron himself. Bastard Noise to me represents the struggle of the human spirit to overcome its surroundings; Bastard Noise is a survival of the fittest mentality applied to pure sound.
Bastard Noise: Quite a few years back now. I thought: "I need to hear much more!" I started writing Nolan (bass/support vocals) a while back as well and very quickly into that early relationship I he "got it". Carroll is one of my favourite vocalists and truly Ben and Eric fucking slay on guitar and drums!
The split turned out to be something completely different than we are used to from you guys, was this planned just for 'The Red List'?
The Endless Blockade: We write for each record specifically and the parameters shift consistently as we restrict certain ideas at the expense of others. Our primary musical goal of the last few years have been to condense our sound to its most basic building blocks; be as minimal as possible and just utilise as much as we can from the ideas we allow ourselves to use. I’m also keen on performing music that negates the role of the individual in its performance and can only largely be viewed as a whole, less a sum of its components. For example I have absolutely no interest in ever being considered a “good” or “interesting” bass player. If that happens in this band (unlikely) then I’ve failed. Our half of ‘The Red List’ is just the latest stop on this path.
Bastard Noise: No this was a "long term" plan to bring back the "four steel girders" and drums to the forefront of the skulls' expression. This was a permanent decision! We have a lot of music to get out! It has worked out great first with Danny Walker (Phobia / Intronaut / Murder Construct) for ‘The Red List’ sessions and now with Connell (M.I.T.B.) back in the line-up (Walker is extremely busy at this point in his life and need a more "grounded" member for BN which is where Connell came in) things are a real joy to say the least.
Did Bastard Noise / The Endless Blockade influence you in anyway for these recordings?
The Endless Blockade: Any band that claims power violence as one of its primary influences is by necessity influenced by at least one period of Eric Wood’s musical history. Eric Wood’s musical legacy is always intrinsically linked to Eric Wood as a human being (no disrespect to Walker or Nelson) and I see Bastard Noise as another emanation from him. He is a person truly linked to his creations.
Bastard Noise: By simply existing they influenced our writing. I knew these guys would "deliver the goods" big time and back in 2007 when Nolan and I first discussed the possibility of this happening we were fixed on the concept of a full length collaboration. It didn't work out that as we needed our own material to play "live" - one of the reasons it became a split full length instead. We hope to work with them again. T.E.B. are people we want to associate with for the long term.
Did you guys discuss the lyrical concept of the record as well? Do you guys have similar ideas about writing lyrics would you think?
The Endless Blockade: I think we both draw on similar primordial sources of inspiration; Bastard Noise seems simultaneously more misanthropic and more hopeful about the fate of our species. Perhaps we’re just more resigned?
Bastard Noise: I am not sure now if "lightly" discussed the lyrical issues when it was first going to a full length collaboration but by the time we decided (collectively) to have each band have a side( or half a compact disc), we essentially went our "own directions". It doesn't matter though as these guys know what is happening around them. I think this is their best effort to date both in sound and in compositional feel.
What do you think of the Bastard Noise / The Endless Blockade side of the album?
The Endless Blockade: It’s everything I hoped it and knew it would be.
Bastard Noise: It is a beautiful "journey" in sound and lyrical expression. Very powerful without losing sight of their trademark sound yet reaching farther (at least to me) than they ever have in the past.
Will there perhaps be another cooperation in the future?
The Endless Blockade: It’s not impossible to conceive of on going collaborative work in some shape or form between the members of Blockade and the members of Bastard Noise; we’ll see. There’s enough of a mutual respect and understanding between both units to make it a distinct possibility but time is everyone’s master.
Bastard Noise: We would be honoured to do so. Together as separate bands/entities, we have not discussed this yet however.
What are your immediate future plans?
The Endless Blockade: Our immediate plans are to finish mixing our split LP with Unearthly Trance and sneak over the border to do a week of shows with Hatred Surge. I’m starting to put ideas together for our next two records, Antinomian and Salvation. One of which will hopefully come out this year, the other sometime before 2012.
Bastard Noise: Immediate plans include preparing for the release of ‘A Culture Of Monsters’ and rehearsing our asses off for our US summer tour then upon return, negotiating flight costs to get to the UK and Europe with one years time. Also we are developing even newer material for next sound document yet untitled.
When will we be seeing you guys live in The Netherlands?
The Endless Blockade: No plans at present. If someone wants to pay for our airfares upfront we’ll be there much sooner though.
Bastard Noise: Hopefully with any luck by the end of 2010 or the middle 201! "The Skull" is coming!
Monday, June 7, 2010
Blockade and Juhyo have played together a few times now (twice i think) and each time we've been blown away by their meticulous attention to detail; this is not two dudes randomly turning on and off DOD death metal pedals and skronking the controls on their Behringer mixers as fast as they can.
Juhyo's sound on this release at times sounds like being slowly marched out of your house and into custody. Haunting stuff.
The theme for the release was loosely human trafficking. Juhyo probably get this across better than i managed. Though i did stand outside my local cash-for-handjobs-from-Eastern-Europeans-parlour and recorded the sounds of the night whilst out walking the dog for one track.
My material on the split presents the penultimate release in this style before i had a minor shift. The Inner Light CD that i'm going to go on good faith and hope is either currently at the plant or about to be sent to the plant will be the final release of mine in this style. The soon to be released split tape with Disgust on Small Doses and Between Two Fires C20 on Swim Harder are the first of the new approach (hint, it has vocals and bass on as well as the usual harsh noise and reappropriated enviromental recordings, pretty ground breaking stuff huh?).
Some of my side has me hitting the harsh noise like i'm 21 again and some is an altogether slower listen. I did a lot of field recordings and stealing of other peoples material for this one. Thrill to the sound of Nekrasov's first born, the soundtracks of Friday the 13th and Blade Runner, endless recordings of my dog, the above mentioned "massage" parlour, going to Blockade practice, being at Blockade practice, coming home from Blockade practice etc et fucking cetera.
Housepig just released the new Bastard Noise CD, so if you're going to buy that (and you probably should unless you're buying the LP version), pick this one up as well if it floats yer boat. Also much recommended from Housepig are the following:
Vennt - Vennt
Kelly Churko - The Confusion
Wilt - Scarecrow (in fact, if you're not familiar with Wilt, buy everything you can by them, some of the most interesting sounds of the last decade are coming from those two dudes)
and of the many Bastard Noise releases Bill's done my vote goes to the Brainstorming II collaboration with Christian Renou as being particularly worth investigating.
Hear More also released the excellent Pig Heart Transplant/ Juhyo split 7".
In other news this year i figured out how to go to MDF and not lose my mind. Autopsy and Portal were predictable highlights by a country mile and Watain, who i've always loved everything about except for their music were a revelation as well and the only band really put the Death into MDF.
Bizarre Uproar - Purity
Nominon - Monumentomb (unbelievably good, already my tip for best death metal album of the year)
Infinitum Obscure - Sub Atris Caelis
Mika Vainio - Black Telephone of Matter
Defeatist - Sixth Extinction
Saturday, May 8, 2010
available from this guy: Richard firstname.lastname@example.org
Loser Life, 16oh and Suffer are also interviewed. I checked out Suffer's myspace page after reading the zine and liked what i heard.
I particularly liked the introduction page and hope Richard writes more personal stuff in future issues, i feel his perspective is well thought out and his interests in the cultural aspects of hardcore are for the 'right' reasons. I guess i just mean i agree with him and we probably have some similar life experiences.
Anyway, support printed zines, blah blah blah. In this day and age of internet and paypals there are few excuses for not buying half decent zines when they come in to being; having to piss about with pre paid envelopes are thankfully a thing of the past.
Special Interests #2
Romio Shrestha - Celestial Gallery
Ivan Brun - No Comment
John O'Kane - Celtic Soccer Crew
David Peace - Occupied City
Joseph Campbell - The Mythic Dimension
Tuesday, May 4, 2010
Monday, April 26, 2010
I can't guarantee Eric won't get swine flu again (like last time we tried to play Montreal) or i won't get stranded in England due to acts of God (as i narrowly missed by a mere luck of the booking draw last week), but if you're within driving distance and want to see us you should probably get out to either Toronto or Montreal.
Whilst we're on hold there are three Blockade recordings still to be unleashed upon the pestilent hordes (i'm trying to get in to the Slaughter Strike mentality here)
In the meantime these Blockade related bands are all active:
Column of Heaven
and this is the (main) noise shit:
Joshua Norton Cabal
Hopefully Ben will get bored and do some kind of one man computer grindcore band about riding scooters on a tropical island with Catherine Zeta Jones on guest vokillz
Strom ec - Divine Legions Beyond the Psyche (one of the most rewarding power electronics CDs of recent years, buy it here)
Bizarre Uproar - Unsafe and Insane LP
Dave Gildan - Texas Chainsaw Dopefiend CS
Mudlark/ Half Gorilla 7"
Vacant Coffin - Sewer Skullpture LP
Tuesday, April 20, 2010
Wednesday, March 24, 2010
Thanks as ever to Hatred Surge.
Sorry to San Antonio for cancelling the show, illness made it look like we were going to have to cancel all the rest of our shows for a while there.
Personal favourites were Mindless from Austin and Concrete Violin from Houston
Also great were Convert from Oklahoma City and some band whose name i will never be able to remember or pronounce but it started with Esc and might have been some dude from Mindless. Anyway, both bands are very new and already showing tons of promise.
Amazingly i didn't see any shitty bands at our shows, they may have played but i wasn't in the room at the time.
And no the GZA didn't end up playing (whatever, great show regardless) and yes SXSW was a fucking chore and i don't ever need to deal with that garbage ever again.
No merch left over from tour and the two Canadian shows with Bastard Noise are probably our last this year.
No plans to tour for the forseeable future.
Tuesday, March 9, 2010
"Society is over saturated with information and the seemingly meaningless exchange of that information. I think that telling people that everyone is a special individual and we should all be given equal attention is as damaging as constantly telling people that they’ll never amount to anything."
Ritual Assembly zine now available, it has interviews with Jon Chang and me and of far more importance on a larger scale there are articles on Hans Bellmer and Henry Darger.
"Punk rock is art first and foremost. The lyrical component should be to display both a personal side of the performers that the music is unable to convey and a hook to draw others in who feel similarly so they share a deeper connection with the artists in question. Anything else is pure fallacy. I think some people get confused and believe that the politics are the art themselves. Bullshit. This is usually the point where we get bogged down by passionless rhetoric and vibrant ideas and concepts are reduced to the functionality of a shopping list. At best it’s contrived and at worst it cheapens real concerns in the world outside of the confines of the punk scene."
Freak Power zine and comp 12" is also out now, a long interview with Blockade, Apartment 213 (Steve seriously needs his own stand up show) Sete Star Sept (featuring the legendary Kiyasu, formerly of Blockade).
The accompanying comp LP has a bunch of bands on, including Hatred Surge, Apt 213, Potop, Sete Star Sept and Brain Dead (hopefully the great and largely unknown UK Brain Dead)
As ever i sound 35% more irritated in both interviews than i actully am in real life.
Paper zines are for all intents and purpose dead from underground culture, no one needs me to point this out to them. Our scene is no longer about the objects and their implications; it's more about the explicit content. Online zines are accessible to anyone, mp3s are downloadable meaning you no longer have to hide cash in an envelope and mail it off to some label you found in a six month old issue of MRR in the vain hope of getting your record. Any moron can have a blog, this moron has one after all.
This is democracy in action, this is information available to anyone who wants it, this is focusing on the music and little else.
But we also lose the cultural importance, something being easy does not necessarily equate with being good.
I frequently talk about about elitism and exclusion in interviews, songs and this blog. Almost everytime i do there is the electronic crying of people who take issue with the fact that i would dare to publically state that i want to live in a better world, one where i don't have to interact with people i don't like.
I feel many things about modern living are too easily obtained and consequently too easily dismissed. There is nothing personal (or nothing that has the veneer of being personal i should say) about the ability for every single person, regardless of intent or capacity to understand to have access to the same information at the same level. The path to enlightenment isn't to demand a Sadhu explains everything to you in a nutshell. Likewise you can't learn to do long division then decide that Fourier Analysis is a bunch of stupid bullshit because you aren't able to instantly get to grips with it.
When i talk about elitism i'm talking about expecting people to invest more in their chosen culture. I'm asking that people have an understanding of why they do what they do and to what end.
A common defence is that with the ease of access there are more participants and it creates a stronger scene. People will accuse others of wilful obscurism (not necessarily untrue) and often state that without modern in-roads the scene would die. And i call total and utter bullshit on that.
My own access points to hardcore punk were similar to many people of my own age, listening to John Peel on Radio One, hearing Napalm Death and Heresy an going from there. Yes, John Peel was a a hugely popular DJ on a national radio station but this was not being spoonfed all the information i'll ever need in one afternoon. From there i bought records by Doom, Septic Death, Repulsion, Minor Threat an tons more on the basis of thanks lists, t shirts worn in photos, fanzine interviews and by virtue of being on record labels that had an associated image. I read Class War because i was angry, hated cops and wanted to know more about the philosphy of some of the bands.
It was a lot of work, but i loved it and perservered. I figured out what i liked and what i didn't like and in periods where i was less enamoured with what was going on (1997-2000 and 2008-present) i still maintained a degree of interest because i'd worked hard at getting here.
In short i feel invested in hardcore and i feel a degree of personal attachment that goes far beyond "Ceremony and Trash Talk ROFL"
Lately there has been a small resurgence in demo tapes and fanzines, particularly here in Toronto (where we're lucky to have a strong, active and fairly knowledgable scene). It could be mere fetishisation of a time passed, another cynical way for people to 'prove' that they're more down with the real roots of hardcore and punk. But i'd like to think on the whole it's a realisation that the current "you like this" and "recommend me power violence" is both unsustainable and largely meaningless.
And if you have a paper zine with a Blockade interview in it and you haven't sent it to us please do (i like to keep them)
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