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cassette craze chronicles IV (feat. ASSUMPTION, CHELSEA WOLFE, DSKNT, KING GIZZARD & THE LIZARD WIZARD and 夢遊病者)

Whoah, already? Yes? Here's yet another installment of my little segment hitting the play button on recent tape purchases old and new.

CHELSEA WOLFE - The Grime And The Glow (2010)
CHELSEA WOLFE - Unknown Rooms (A Collection Of Acoustic Songs) (2012)

The UK webstore of Sargent House is closing down and thus giving high discounts, so it was a no-brainer for me to snatch these last two Wolfe works which were still missing in my collection. Nothing spectacular regarding the package here, but then the price was also accordingly sparse, right?

The music is of course wonderful. Much closer to PJ Harvey than today, minimalistic, raw and sometimes challengingly shrill on the debut, pure and beautiful on the acoustic album. She may have only been ascending the stairs back then, but you can't deny that the artist on these two tapes is on the unstoppable way of becoming our all rightful contemporary gothic queen.

Two awesome albums which haven't lost any of their original impact.

The next four tapes were all ordered on last Bandcamp Friday (where the artists/labels get the full share of the profit without fees). And three of them all come from the always interesting black/death/avant-garde label Sentient Ruin Laboratories:

ASSUMPTION - The Three Appearances (2014/2020)

Originally released on CD in 2014, Sentient Ruin saved this EP from obscurity with a fresh run of vinyl and cassettes. And boy they did good, because the not three, but four tracks on "The Three Appearances" are a master class in thick, sludgy, yet still atmospheric doom death metal.

I can only approve the label's own promotional text when it places the sound of these Italians between AsphyxBolt Thrower, Skepticism and Winter. Especially the thirteen minute title track with its mournful contemplating organ, Morbid Angel lead guitar madness, psychedelic swirls and many other elements skillfully thrown in, is an enormously exciting crawl through the richness of possibilities within the subgenre.

DSKNT - Vacuum γ​-​Noise Transition (2021)

Could it be that the title is some kind of ironic nod to the fact that anyone who hates this music could easily describe it as just being the sound of several vacuum cleaners in different pitches playing at once?
The good thing is that this description also works just fine in case you totally dig the nihilistic apocalypse which the Swiss black metal commando DSKNT unleashes on this completely mind-and-body-annihilating monstrosity of an album.
If you love the recent dissonant death metal masterpiece "Imperative Imperceptible Impulse" by Ad Nauseam even close to how I love it, but your preference is black metal (squished together with industrial and pure noise) and/or you're just in a mood for more cosmic chaos and utter relentless aggression, this might just be your cowbell.
"Vacuum γ​-​Noise Transition" blasts with a level of unforgiving weird violence that is almost incomprehensible for human perception. If you deem this your prefered soundtrack for romantic hours, you're in urgent need of therapy. Just sayin'. It's bloody awesome though.

夢遊病者 - Noč Na Krayu Sveta (2021)

One may have noticed by now that I'm kind of in an extreme/avant-garde black/death spree at the moment. And yes, even after Ad Nauseam and DSKNT, there are still limits to be pushed.

Personally I wouldn't even per se categorize this new two-tracks/half-hour EP by the - let me quote - "Russian/Japanese/American experimental ritualistic black metal entitiy 夢遊病者" as metal.
The black metal riffs and voices and whatnot are there, but then there is so much more going on in this creative chaotic thunderstorm, which originates in completely different realms, most prominently free jazz, Middle-Eastern folklore, drone, industrial... yeah, it's a lot. And it's always a lot of stuff at the same time, performed by a lot of instruments including Moog synthesizer, fretless bass, quray and bouzouki by the three core band members, but also strings, winds, brass, oud, electronics, clerical choir vocals and whatever a kubyz is by several guest musicians.

This is Alice Coltrane and Toby Driver having a raging black metal baby. This is Mansur torturing Mono in hell. This is ambitious and beautiful, a piercing bliss so bright, it burns the eyes out of your skull.

Congratulations to Sentient Ruin for releasing this gem, which would also have aesthetically fit into the roster of labels like I, Voidhanger, WV Sorcerer or even Karlrecords. And while I'm already at it, thank you also for putting some real love into the artwork and layout of your tapes. Even though - common problem - the typography is really tiny, especially this package is a true beauty. Just as it should be to measure up to the music.

KING GIZZARD & THE LIZARD WIZARD - Teenage Gizzard (Manic Juice Records version) (2021)

Nope, I'm not even trying to find a smooth transition from Sleepwalker (yes, that's the english name for 夢遊病者) to the hyper-prolific Australians King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard. When Stu MacKenzie's insane psych posse announced a whole bunch of "official bootlegs" a couple of months ago, I definitely knew that now was the final point to admit that I'll never even try to catch up with their discography.
Basically published by anyone who wants to publish them, most  of these albums are live recordings from (relatively, you know, you know...) recent shows, but also demos and other leftovers.

And even though some of the many additions seem to be absolutely wonderful works of love and art, I don't think that I realistically need half a dozen of King Gizz live album, so I quickly decided that the one album I wanted from that bunch was the best cassette version of "Teenage Gizzard", which pretty self-explanatory consists of the earliest - teenage - demos of the band, which I could find.
Fast forward to April 2nd I sought Bandcamp thoroughly and found this beauty with just the right artwork from the Canadian mini label Manic Juice Records, which is limited to thirty hand-numbered copies.

Musically infant Gizzard can't really be called psychedelic yet, but their at times almost punky, enthusiastic garage surf rock for sure is infectious and fun.

"Life Is Cool."

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