Amoeblog

'Out of a Black Cloud' Comes a Great Album: Ruby Throat's Sophmore Triumph

Posted by Aaron Detroit, May 12, 2010 08:15pm | Post a Comment
Ruby Throat KatieJane Garside
Last week, I posted details
about the new limited deluxe vinyl edition of Folk-Noir duo Ruby Throat’s cult-classic debut, The Ventriloquist. This week , Amoeba Hollywood has just received quantity of Ruby Throat's sophomore full-length recording, Out of a Black Cloud Came a Bird. The album was released in a limited Special Edition CD run in November 2009, but has now been issued in this standard digipak CD edition.

Ruby Throat vocalist KatieJane Garside became quite prolific this past decade with three separate musical projects running in tandem  with each other (as well as a one-off LP with Hector Zazou - R.I.P); the long-running Queenadreena with former Daisy Chainsaw cohort Crispin Gray, her solo project Lalleshwari, and Ruby Throat with guitarist Chris Wittingham. While Queenadreena is a bombastic, cathartic and lustfully-charged rush bemoaning innocence lost, Lalleshwari revealed a more rudimentary, internal and transitive process of the artist. With Ruby Throat, Garside draws the characters in her songs as reflective, self-aware and with a sense to the nature of their struggles, though still very much struggling.

Black Cloud finds Garside's unsettling fairytale-stylings firmly rooted in her usual but always powerful psychosexual minefield of hushed lullabye, bluesy belting and bat-shit babelouge. Wittingham's Ruby Throat Out of A Black Cloudpsychedelic soundscapes and dreamy dark Americana-influenced arrangements are richer and fuller here but with the same minimalist bent and care as on the group’s debut.

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Amoeba Hollywood's Featured and Upcoming Goth / Industrial Vinyl Releases

Posted by Aaron Detroit, May 5, 2010 06:00pm | Post a Comment
With a new boom of appreciation for long-playing vinyl in full swing, our cozy dark corner of Amoeba Music Hollywood where the Goth /Industrial section lies is seeing lots of great titles come through. We’ve hand-picked some recent wax new releases and reissues and are featuring them in our section this month, so crank up your turntable for some of our highlighted dark wonders.

Sturmpercht Schattenlieder (Ahnstern)
3-sided double-LP in gatefold-cover with etched vinyl on the 4th side. The masters of Pagan Folk are back with their new album Schattenlieder - eine kleine Nachtmusik für Waldteufel und Berggeister. The album features 20 diverse and unique Sturmperchtsongs full of alpine mysticism, heathen legends and tales about strange fairies and pagan rites. Schattenlieder entrains you into deep forests, arcane mountains and dark chasms and guides you to hidden places in the depth of the central European forests, where hunters meet strange creatures from dusk til dawn. The album varies between gnarled songs about creepy fairies, catchy folk hymns and dark songs dealing with alpine myths, forest tales and hunter sagas. Schattenlieder is the perfect soundtrack for misty autumn evenings as well as for dark winter nights. The album features a large variety of instruments and sounds -- obscure, strange, folky, psychedelic, but always original and weird, in Sturmpercht's very unique way. Schattenlieder is completely unpredictable -- each track a standalone, but contributing to the overall ambiance of this new benchmark within the Pagan Folk genre. Not for everyone, but a truly bizarre and wonderful release!



Ruby Throat The Ventriloquist (The Lovers' Will)
The deluxe double vinyl LP edition of the classicRuby Throat Ventriloquist Cover Folk-Noir recording The Ventriloquist by Ruby Throat. Limited to 300 hand-numbered copies in a reverse-board gatefold sleeve and including a full colour insert, this is the first time this gorgeous recording– originally self-released on CD in 2007– has been issued on vinyl by Los Angeles-based label The Lovers' Will Records & Press! Ruby Throat is a bewitching duo from London, UK and is compromised of vocalist KatieJane Garside (Daisy Chainsaw, Queenadreena) and guitarist Chris Wittingham. Garside’s voice is much like The Ventriloquist’s subject matter – riding on a dark line between the ethereal and the visceral. The album is made up of psychosexual musings, spectral visions, stark murder balladry and other transgressive tales delicately surrounded by the Psychedelic dream-wrap and pastoral strumming of Wittingham. It also holds a high spot on our previously-posted list of the 20 Best Dark Music Albums of The '00's. Recommended if you like PJ Harvey, Current 93, Mazzy Star, and WIll Oldham.

Xasthur and Marissa Nadler Collaborate On Genre Bending New Album

Posted by Aaron Detroit, April 23, 2010 08:00pm | Post a Comment
Xasthur
Fresh in the racks at Amoeba Music Hollywood just today is the wonderfully bleak and dissonant Portal of Sorrow (via Disharmonic Variations), a truly collaborative effort by the one-man depressive black metal band Xasthur and ethereal folkie Marissa Nadler. Scott Conner, aka Malefic, the man behind Xasthur, recently announced that this would be the absolute final release under the Xasthur banner. Oh! And what a glorious end it is! Upon first spin, Portal is easily recognizable as the best of Conner’s last few releases and will likely hold up as one of the touchstones in the Xasthur discography and beyond -- wherever Conner decides to go next.

The album announces its individuality in the Xasthur catalog with acoustic guitars that swirl around a plodding dirge enveloped by the ghostly purrs of Nadler. Eventually this lovely and melancholic breath is absconded away by the brief shattering sounds of glass and horror-film -orchestra stabs that leads into the cascade of bizarrely mixed buzzsaw guitar, Deathrock-like bass warbles and clattering cardboard box drums of the second track, “Broken Glass Christening.” The song is then shortstopped by an ominous piano, Malefic’s anguished shrieks and further apparitional lacing from Nadler. For all the album’s sorrowful moments, there are flashes in half-light, like the lovely “Mourning Tomorrow,” which infiltrates the album’s tracklist like a Folk-Noir Cocteau Twins. The LP lacks any monotonous riffing or repetition usually found in the gloomier end of the Black Metal genre, and aside from the above mentioned instrumentation, incorporates Marissa Nadlersynthesizer and organ which supply some very dreamy yet crestfallen ambiance.

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Tor Lundvall's Latest Spectral Masterpiece; Plus Hollywood's Goth / Industrial New Releases

Posted by Aaron Detroit, April 15, 2010 06:45pm | Post a Comment
Tor Lundvall Ghost Years
Tor Lundvall
, famous for his outstanding paintings, has a very haunting style. The figures in his gorgeous landscape paintings are at once ghostly and earthly, ethereal and organic. The feeling one gets when staring into his soft but rich work is isolation, but not loneliness. It’s a remoteness with Spirits, a communion with nature where a gateway to shadowy unknown worlds exist. No surprise then that his work as a musician seems to perfectly score his stunning visual art. Though he made a limited private press album of Industrial music in 1997,  Lundvall's first big waves in music came in the form of a 1998 collaborative effort with Tony Wakeford (of Sol Invictus and Death in June fame), entitled Autumn Calls. The album, though equally billed between the two artists, was mostly a Lundvall affair with some minor embellishments from Wakeford and other guests. Autumn is full of  the warm yet effecting dark ambient soundscapes that Tor has continued to mine with increasingly finer results with each successive release. Recently, his exceptional 10th full-length, Sleeping and Hiding (via Dais Records), made our Best of 2009 and our Best of The Decade lists and now his just released CD collection, Ghost Years, is likely to make 2010’s.

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April Shower Soundtracks: Hollywood's Featured Goth / Industrial etc. Releases

Posted by Aaron Detroit, April 7, 2010 06:30pm | Post a Comment
Gitane Demone, Christian Death, Crystelles 
California, for all its famed sunshine, has historically fostered some pretty dark and cloudy musical ventures. From the original Christian Death and Von on to The Vanishing and Leviathan, this state has produced some of the greatest and most well-known Dark musical acts. That tradition strongly continues today, as all four of our featured releases this month are from quite excellent, decidedly shaded, California-based artists. The Crystelles' Attach and Detach is a wonderfully raw, gothy & garagey blues LP featuring the wildly soulful wail and musings of former Christian Death member Gitane DeMone. The Los Angeles-based band’s lineup also features Demone’s daughter (who is also a reknowned and quite amazing surrealistic painter), Zara Kand, on drums. The vinyl-only release is composed of 12 dirty and volatile tracks that Gitane herself calls ‘Death Blues’ and also includes a gorgeous 28 page Lyric & Art book. This is an essential release and is stacking up already to be one of our favorite releases this year.
Frank Alpine, Xeno Oaklander, Dais Records, Synthpop
Another current “local to L.A.” favorite of ours is Minimal-Synth project Frank Alpine. Alpine released a 7” this past year via the always superb Dais Records entitled Night Tripper, and also just self-released a CD version of the previously cassette-only release Keyboard Cassette. Frank Alpine’s mastermind is former New Collapse drummer Rich Bitch, however Alpine’s cold atmospheres are far-removed from his former band’s spastic synth-freakouts. Tracks vary from spare, chilling ambience to full-on John Carpenter-worship (like B-side “Another Land”). Both Night Tripper and Keyboard Cassette are only available in limited quantities, so don’t slack!

The Bay Area’s Worm Ouroboros features Amber Asylum, The Gault and World
E
ateralums and its self-titled debut CD (via Profound Lore) mixes Doomy riffing, Dark Ambient, and ethereal Folk harmonies fluidly into a dazzling and crystalline pool of sound. The album also features beautiful Digipak and booklet art by bassist/vocalist Lorraine Rath, revealing her to be an equally soul-stirring visual artist and vocalist. The only thing that isn’t perfect about this release is that it is not available on vinyl. Please get with it, Profound Lore!

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