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2022-01-30

still gushing over 2021 (with CHICAGO ODENSE ENSEMBLE, CONVERGE and HIERONYMUS DREAM)


Nah, I'm still not done coming late to the party of several 2021 (re-)releases, so here's another trio of without exception phenomenal albums!





CONVERGE - Bloodmoon•I (CD) (2021)

It seems that collaborative albums are becoming a more and more regular thing in metal and adjacent circles. There are even bands like The Body specialized in forming extended bands. And of course there's a continuation of super-heavy sludge/post metal/hardcore bands teaming up with female singers to create huge masterpieces. Neurosis/Jarboe, Cult Of Luna/Julie Christmas, Emma Ruth Rundle/Thou... And now Converge and Chelsea Wolfe?
Well, not precicely. Firstly "now" has already been a long while, as the whole "Bloodmoon" concept has been around for a while, at least since a show under that moniker at Roadburn Festival 2016. And secondly "Bloodmoon" doesn't stand only for the addition of Chelsea Wolfe's haunting voice (and guitar?), which would already be a win, but also for the atmospheric soundscapes of her writing partner Ben Chisholm and of course Cave In / Mutoid Man / Old Man Gloom super weapon Stephan Brodsky, whose importance for this first "Bloodmoon" (it is heavily implied that this will be continued) cannot be overstated.
So while I'm still not the biggest fan of Converge frontman Jacob Bannon's vocals, I must admit that they work better in the studio than live, and combined with all the diversity and harmony brought into the game with Wolfe, Brodsky and probably also others of the seven musicians at play, they finally at least don't bother me anymore on this album.
With eleven tracks in roughly one hour "Bloodmoon•I" may be relatively long, but the diversity in the vocal department alone ensures that there's no danger of boredom. And since the premise of this record really is that everyone brings everything he/she's got to the table, you're also thrown into a different musical direction with each song. Of course there's Converge's post hardcore mixed with a theatrical gothic flair as a base, but from there on everything these guys want just goes. The only common thread, no matter how heavy or balladic, how straight forward or convoluted a certain track may be, is that there's a hymn of some kind hidden in everything. No filler, all killer. A massive, ambitious hit machine.

This album truly leaves me with only two serious open questions: 1. How long will we have to wait until we get more of this?
2. If the CD is already shrink-wrapped anyway - why do you put the big hype sticker directly on the cover of the digipack? (It doesn't give the impression of being removable without residues or damages. Well, luckily I don't care much about this particular cover artwork anyway, but still... why?) 
  





HIERONYMUS DREAM - Nostos (blue and green starbust vinyl LP) (2021)

After immensly enjoying their EP "Clairvoyance" I am pleased that Greek instrumentalists Hieronymus Dream have continued their cosmic journey with this full LP. Adventurous yet relaxing at the same time, the flittering guitars and bubbling electronic sounds on "Nostos" are exuding a comfortable warmth, while the steady drive of the beat keeps your mind moving.
I don't want to diminish the performances themselves one bit, but once again the clarity and quality of the production elevates the recording to another level. All six tracks are masterclasses in uplifting neokraut with an emphasis on that kind of escapism which will probably also speak to a lot of post rock fans. A soundtrack for fantastic odysseys.






CHICAGO ODENSE ENSEMBLE - Chicago Odense Ensemble (blue vinyl LP) (2011/2021)

Last but not least we have the most recent (transparent blue) pressing of yet another transatlantic cooperation from the Causa Sui / El Paraiso Records vault. Originally published by Adluna Records in 2011, the geographically self-explanatory Chicago Odense Ensemble already recorded this gathering of seven players in 2008. Jonas Munk however edited and dubbed the sessions in his studio. The result is neither the first nor the last record with his and Jakob Skøtt's involvement which screams Miles Davis's electric phase. But with Rob Mazurek's cornet at the forefront, backed up by a massive free-fusioning flow of guitars and lots of percussion, the Chicago Odense Ensemble surely is among those efforts which come closest to the original.
Which of course doesn't mean that these eight pieces even try to be a carbon copy at all. While even some of the effect experimentalism in the post-production are very much in the tradition of Miles' producer Teo Macero, you can also taste some very distinct flavours here, like the dreamy psychedelic guitars which are quite typical for Causa Sui, as well as a strong German kraut vibe provided by Munk's analogue synthesizers.
And from the psych to the funk, from the tribal drum energy to the delicate jazz fusion nothing about this American/Danish get-together seems forced. This is freeform music at its finest. The title of the last track sums it up very humbly. Because this a little bit more than just "Pretty Nice". Pure joy! 







harineweekly 04/52


Shooting new pictures with the Digital Harinezumi 3.0 every week. Still no picture worth telling a long story about. ;)







2022-01-24

fucking sheep! (made me drop my toycam)*

*not a punk rock song title


[Disclaimer: The particular sheep photographed below did nothing wrong.]

Here's a film I shot on expired 35 mm Lomography Colour Negative 800 film with my La Sardina Belle Starr camera in October 2021.

Unfortunately at one point I thought it was a good idea to put the cam in the pocket of my leather jacket, so that I could take a picture of a herd of sheep with my smartphone. Shit idea! Not only sucked the picture (so I deleted it), but also the La Sardina fell to the ground and lost its back cover. Of course I lost some exposures and had (as so often actually quite welcome) light leaks on others due to this incident. And since a little plastic part had broken off, I had to constantly hold the cam together and apply pressure while filling the rest of the film. Which was too annoying, so I gave up after a handful of pictures. At least this damage is repairable once you get your hands on a spare back cover - which thankfully might happen soon!






2022-01-22

2021 physical latecomers (feat. ALMEIDA | LOPES | ERNSTING, COALTAR OF THE DEEPERS, GNOD & ST. VINCENT)


It's still January, so I think it's also still ok to cover releases from last year, right? Here's a bunch of stuff, which I just bought too late to review it in 2021:






COALTAR OF THE DEEPERS - Revenge Of The Visitors (gold, red and blue swirl vinyl Earth Ride edition LP) (2021)

Somehow this album got my attention, while I was browsing for tapes, but ultimately the vinyl version landed on my wantlist and sat there for a while until I finally got my hands on it. Lucky me, because the unique mix of post punk, shoegaze, (death) metal/core (or whatever?) and a dozen more or less likely ingredients is just as captivating as it is strange. And I guess the naturalness with which the silly, catchy sweetness and the heaviness find together in this music, is kind of a typical Japanese thing. Or at least it presents itself in a way that makes me think that? I hear some elements which remind me of Envy's "The Fallen Crimson" or Boris' pop album "Attention Please!".
But then what I think is not always right. So I still thought that "Revenge Of The Visitors" was the reissue of a classic, when it was already spinning on my turntable, while in truth in the style of artists like Sodom and Taylor Swift it's actually a present-day re-recording of the 1994 debut CD "The Visitors From Deepspace"! It still looks super 90s though: the cover artwork with its good idea being almost ruined by layout and typo choices is totally of that time. Interestingly the coloured vinyl really kind of legitimizes and saves the rest. Yeah, this looks cool now. Still weird, but that's exactly what this album requires.
The songs are the same as on the original, the only difference being that the opener - a cover song from The Cure - has been renamed from "Killing An Arab" to "Killing Another" by the original artist in the years between the releases. From what I have compared, the music of the original must have been a completely mind-blowing experience back then, but the production really didn't stand the test of time. This new version sounds superior in every way and is also performed better. So yes, if you want to transfer your own old music into new times and keep it relevant - this is how you do it.







GNOD - La Mort Du Sens (CD) (2021)

Gnod are known to be quiet fluid in form and style, so this new album being the blatant reprise of "Just Say No To The Psycho Right-Wing Capitalist Fascist Industrial Death Machine" that it is, comes as a little surprise. However it's a good one. The throwback to the sound of the 2017 angry psych classic with the even more iconic cover artwork is actually very welcome. This is in no way a one to one copy, but the politically charged, punkish English working class spirit, embedded in a huge, smashing and hypno-tantalizing machine of industrial noise frenzy, perfectly hits the same nerve - brutally, repeatedly and merciless. "La Mort Du Sens" sits halfway between the "Filth" of Swans and Ministry's ""Filth Pig", adds some heavy psych overtones and doesn't shy away from throwing either some dirty fucking La Muerte rock'n'roll or a wild saxophone on top of it. The just anger and pulverizing bass of this album might fuck you up or call you to action - in the best case both. I almost feel like I want to blow right-wing light-brain anti-vaxers from the streets with this. They don't deserve to hear this great shit though. Clearly a hot AOTY list candidate, if I had only gotten it earlier! Just like the LP the CD comes in a gatefold with a cutout cover, so you can change the colour of whatever this is supposed to be from blue to red.









ST. VINCENT - Daddy's Home (LP) (2021)

Yeah, this is another one which would have really messed my 2021 favorites list up, especially the category of huge pop music releases. Which almost sounds like an insult when you speak about the work of singer and multi-instrumentalist Annie Clark aka St. Vincent. The dry electronic funk of "Masseduction" still lies at the foundation of some tracks on "Daddy's Home", but she so skillfully and confidently adds so many more exciting facets to her music - something new on each and every song - it's a pure joy to travel with her. There's Americana, lots of 70s rock, even pinches of Motown. And so much awesome and beautiful guitar and vintage synthesizer goodness. And damn, no matter what this woman does, her songwriting and arrangements are just world-class.

If you don't fall in love with this album at the latest after its fourth track "Live In The Dream" - a six-and-a-half-minute psychedelic Beatles worship ballad for the gods - you probaly have no soul. Or maybe it's just not your thing. Anyway, you won't get this masterpiece of a record. It's not a double album, so the scope can't match the reference, but in terms of addiction potential and sheer quality this is pop close to Janelle Monáe's "The ArchAndroid" level for me! St. Vincent just got the vibes. "You can't hide from me." she sings. You're right Daddy, we can't.









ALMEIDA | LOPES | ERNSTING - Misanthrope (CD) (2021)

But now back from the popular limelight to the world of the obscure! Fittingly (at least if you interpret the cover as a very abstract Christmas tree) released on December 25th, "Misanthrope" is a quite dark and gloomy, but also super busy and exciting live improvisation by Albatre bandmates Gonçalo Almeida and Phillipp Ernsting with guitarist Luís Lopes. In six tracks with a total playing time over 55 minutes the trio hits a whole bundle of nerve fibres between Pulled By Magnets and Dead Neanderthals, Sumac and Naked City in me.
 
THAT'S WHY I'VE ALREADY WRITTEN A WHOLE DETAILED REVIEW ABOUT THIS MASTERCLASS IN FREE DOOM JAZZCORE OVER ON VEILOFSOUND.COM!

The physical release on CD (limited to 50 copies) on the Indian label Subcontinental Records is a rather unspectaculary package coming in a slim tray, but it looks fine - and undoubtly has amazing  inner values.