You can't go home again, as the old saying goes -- similar in sentiment to, "You can't step in the same river twice." Life is constantly flowing, shifting, changing shape. Sure, you can go to the building where you were raised. You can revisit your parents, extended family, old friends,...

Woman's Hour - Conversations LP
Listeners first encounter Conversations, the debut record by United Kingdom musicians Woman's Hour, through striking monochrome visual imagery. Black and white can be seen in everything from their album artwork and press photos to their music videos, serving not only to unify the band's music, but to incorporate their underlying interests and philosophies as well. Responsible for their visual branding is Frank and Jane, a collaboration between Woman's Hour frontwoman Fiona Jane Burgess and artist Oliver Chanarin. This article features a Q&A with Burgess and all-encompassing look at the visual collateral connected to the record, to demonstrate how the experience Woman's Hour is crafting is truly an interdisciplinary and thoughtful one.
Woman's Hour - Conversations Music Video

 

Hauschka - Volker Bertelmann Composer Interview
Poor Pripyat never had a chance. A city along the northern edge of Ukraine thrust into existence in 1970, its fate was unfortunately tied to the neighboring Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant, whose employees filled its houses. Pripyat barely saw sweet sixteen before its raison d'etre blew, leading to its full evacuation. Empty to this day and enveloped by nature's reclamation, the city has become, in recent years, a destination for the marginal but growing business of disaster tourism. Volker Bertelmann, who has been composing music under the name Hauschka since the mid-2000s, is a musician who would consider visiting Pripyat; his latest album, Abandoned City, takes its guiding inspiration from such spent locations. "Pripyat" is the second track on the record, and eight of Abandoned City's nine songs are named after different cities that have all been left behind at some point for one reason or another. "Agdam" references a war-ravaged city in Southwestern Azerbaijan, and "Elizabeth Bay" a deserted mining town in Namibia. An additional unreleased track is titled "Hashima Island", based off of an abandoned island in Japan "where they also shot a lot of apocalyptic Hollywood movies because it... still has a lot of skyscrapers that are totally empty."
Good Romans - Open This Door, Never Look Back
When most people think of jazz, they either stop at Duke Ellington's sophisticated big bands, or possibly make it as far as the edgy, revolutionary architecture of bebop, if they're hip. This extremely limited viewpoint overlooks the fact that, in its essence, jazz is essentially improvised instrumental music. On Open The Door, Don't Look Back, the Finnish duo Good Romans strips the influence of jazz down to its bare RNA, pointing out its role in nearly every underground, avant-garde movement since. They manage to trace a very tenuous line from Django Reinhardt to Supersilent, which is a very abstract journey, if you missed the connecting steps. Using a very concise palette of electric guitar, drums and abstract electronics, Good Romans take you on a guided tour through nearly every genre that jazz has touched, from instrumental post-rock ("Smiling No"), to harsh freeform noise ("Moha Rave") and droning ritualism ("Hardanger"). They cover a lot of ground, but there is smart sequencing here, with miniature soundworlds strung together like a string of pearls. Some of the cuts are harsh, like a splash of cold water. This seems intentional: the intention is to shock, to make you pay attention and make you listen to some sounds you had not previously thought of as music.
Biosexual The Window Wants The Bedroom Debacle Records (2013)
Biosexual - The Window Wants The Room Album Review
"Subculture as we know it is dead and it's all the internet's fault." Chicago producer Johnny Love, aka Deathface, in a recently popular Tumblr post
This is hardly a recent concern; the topic has probably been blogged and tweeted more often than Miley Cyrus. It can be traced back as far as The Microphones' recorded their own We Are The World with 2007 single "Get Off The Internet", and has probably been around since computer's started talking to one another. On The Window Wants The Bedroom, the debut full-length from Biosexual, the trio of prolific sound artist Zac Nelson, along with Michael RJ Saalman and Jocelyn Noir, it seems like Biosexual is more interested in reflecting the surreal state of modern living through information technology than in smashing the system. Biosexual are very much a product of the internet. They cobble together bizarre mutant vocals with surreal lyrics, rigid trap beats, and a chorus of synthesizers that reference at least 5 underground dance movements. Call it technological pop, or breakbeat bricolage, this is the sound of information overload, the result of 10 years of listening to everything under the sun. {{ FULL ALBUM STREAM AFTER THE JUMP }}
This audio-visual collaboration between Portland-based avant-garde metal outfit, The Body, and NYC mixed media artist Alexander Barton has been a long time coming, a homage to an enduring friendship. Combining their mutual shared interest in intensity, abstraction, and religious themes, the music video for "To Attempt Oneness" pits The Body's guttural, distorted screams and noisy, rumbling guitars against Barton's bleeding ink painting -- an extension of his earlier performance which used real pig's blood. The final product holds a viewer's fascination with its impressively slow and minimal unfolding, the most entertaining way possible to watch paint dry. To celebrate the very recent release of The Body's Christs, Redeemers on Thrill Jockey Records, we offer you a side-by-side interview with artist Alexander Barton and The Body's drummer Lee Buford, as they speak of music, aesthetics, and the world. The Body are currently on a nation-wide tour; dates at the bottom of this post.
SadoDaMascus Records Summer Copulation Anybody who spends any significant amount of time listening to electronic music knows that the REAL action takes place across mixtapes, 12"s, DJ mixes, remixes, EPs and SoundCloud. By the time an artist gets around to releasing a Long Player, they've been toiling away for years, working out the kinks and wrinkles. Singles and SoundClouds are where the true cutting edge of the electronic world happen. But digging out gems from the datastream can be a full-time job, if not a miracle, what with trying to separate the ore of genius from the millions of sub-par trap remixes extant. Enter Portland's SadoDaMascus Records, the publishing arm of the Sonic Debris Multimedia collective, who have been panning for audio gold in Portland's electronic underground with their seasonal Copulation mixtapes since summer of 2012. Wait, wait... I know what you're thinking. Electronic underground? It exists, lurking in basements and run down saloons all over Stumptown, but it can be hard to find for the uninitiated, making what SDM do such a necessary and much appreciated public service. 2013's Summer Copulation features 20 tracks by 10 different artists, a real wormhole of retroactive radiophonic real-time audio manipulation. The styles run the gamut of the entire underground, from straight-up digital noise, to trance-y rock 'n roll; grimey introverted hip-hop to synthwave sequencer worship. This collection is a good introduction to what's going on in the electronic underground, all over the world -- not just in the City Of Roses -- so it's a good place to start out, if you love beats, but are burned out by dancefloors, and the inevitable ecstatic crash.
Dawn of Midi Dysnomia Thirsty Ear Recordings (2013) When the American trio Dawn of Midi released their accomplished 2010 debut album, First, the world had gained another practitioner of minimalist free jazz. Two years in the making, and at a reported cost of thirty thousand dollars, Dysnomia is the follow-up to that promising debut, and builds masterfully on First, delivering an exciting blend of acute syncopation and imaginative instrumental counterpoint.
The first track, "Io", opens with resonating bass which is joined by a building rhythm produced by what might be a piano. Muted and muffled, this part works simultaneously with and against the initial deep bass, which is then underscored by the stabbing rhythm of a rich bass drum. From then on this track and those that follow build into a sparse though satisfyingly complex interaction of the three elements that comprise the classic jazz trio. The interplay of drums, bass and piano that make up Dawn of Midi is clever throughout, but in a way that never allows clarity to be lost. Hypnotic, rotating and tightly controlled, a subtle evolution of sound is the watermark that runs through this album. "Io", "Sinope", "Atlas", "Nix", "Moon", "Ymir", "Ijiraq", "Algol", "Dysnomia": each track merges with the next to make an album that is one complete piece of music.

Call it a spiritual treatise, a visual masterpiece, or whatever you like -- but Alejandro Jodorowsky's 1973 film, The Holy Mountain, has inspired musicians dating as far back as members of the Beatles, who played an instrumental role in funding and distributing the work. In this timeline of artistic individuals...