Amoeblog

Noblesse Oblige: 'Offensive Nonsense' Gets Reissue

Posted by Aaron Detroit, September 30, 2009 03:00pm | Post a Comment
Thank the fates for the explosion of deluxe edition reissues! While some serve as mere cash cows for record labels with unnecessary previously-unreleased-for-a-reason vault-raping bonus tracks for nerds, many give previously overlooked gems and obscure nuggets a proper introduction to music fans. Such is the case for the limited edition deluxe reissue of the Berlin-based Noblesse Oblige’s mischievous debut album. In 2006, the then London-based duo of German singer/songwriter/producer Sebastian Lee Philipp and French singer/songwriter Valerie Renay released a small-run of their debut LP entitled Privilege Entails Responsibility, via the obscure and now-defunct UK imprint Horseglue Records. The album of nighttime grooves and tri-lingual self-proclaimed ‘Offensive Nonsense’ slowly gained a cult following via hundreds of increasingly packed European live shows and steady word-of-mouth. The band eventually moved to Berlin and began work on what would become their well received, more accessible and quite excellent sophomore LP, 2008’s In Exile via Germany’s RepoRecords. On the heels of Exile’s success, Repo is reissuing Privilege this week with ten(!) bonus tracks including two brand new forward-moving tracks and padded out with eight additional remixes.

While In Exile explores the band’s love of dreamier and filmic music (which no doubt rubbed-off on queer indie-rockers The Hidden Cameras, whom Philipp worked with on tracks for their recent lush offering, Origin: Orphan), Privilege is an inviting and darkly comic (sometimes even knowingly ridiculous) yet misanthropic and intense ride via the Goth and Waver club dance floors of yester-year. Philipp pays homage to his fellow countrymen KMFDM on “Bite Back“ and “Bitch” with big cheese-rock riffs and tongue firmly planted in cheek while somehow remaining quite serious and sincere. “Fashion Fascism” sounds like it could be a cover of Madonna’s “Burning Up” on some obscure late-80’s Wax Trax 12 inch while Philipp invokes the spirit of Leigh Bowery on “Daddy (Don’t Touch Me There).” Sadly, the Minty-commissioned Noblesse Oblige cover/remix of Bowery’s “Useless Man,” which appeared as the b-side of N.O.’s single for the bouncy “Quel Genre de Garcon,” does not appear among the bonus tracks here.

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The Big Pink and A Place To Bury Strangers Heart Feedback

Posted by Aaron Detroit, September 22, 2009 05:00pm | Post a Comment
If the gentlemen of London’s The Big Pink and New York’s A Place To Bury Strangers are to have their way this fall – you will have a serious case of tinnitus by Winter Solstice via their dark-veined noise-pop. Both bands love the volume loud, worship at the alters of 80’s Gloom-Pop and early-‘90’s Shoegaze, and both have new releases out in the next month. While both bands paint with Kevin Shields’s and Daniel Ash’s brush-strokes each band shades their canvas quite differently and uniquely.

The Big Pink signed to cult-label 4AD this year. The team-up couldn’t have been a better fit as the duo’s tunes could slide in nicely in a playlist alongside tracks from the label’s 80’s and 90’s roster of ethereal and gothic-leaning releases. They also share with their predecessors a keen eye and love
for packaging their music -– a dying art form for sure --adding dimensions to the music and an additional keyhole into the universe the band has created within their sound. The band’s pre-4AD releases of dead-sexy lo-fi electro vs. feedback bliss-outs were accompanied by homoerotic and ethereal sleeve artwork by Dennis Cooper (The duo also borrowed the title for their song “Frisk” from Cooper). The band’s newly polished, less-amorphous and refined sound (courtesy of major league mixing-czar Rich Costey) featured on their debut LP, A Brief History of Love, is issued with a murky, blurred and slightly unsettling cover photo of a bare-chested woman - insinuating and helping inject a similarly subversive sexual tone of their indie releases into the hazy pools of stoned reverb and romantic wistful grooves of the new album.

There has been some debate amongst critics and fans about the band’s credibility and authenticity due to the band’s big-time connections; Singer Robbie Furze is a former paramour of Lily Allen and spent time playing guitar for Digital Hardcore Founder, Alec Empire. Milo Cordell (who plays everything Furze doesn’t) comes from a music biz family. Cordell’s Father is Producer Denny Cordell, most famous for producing Moody Blues’s first album and Procol Harum’s “A Whiter Shade of Pale.” Also, prior to establishing The Big Pink, Cordell founded the label Merok Records, which released some of the earliest rumblings by hipster magnates Klaxons and Crystal Castles. Ultimately, the band delivers fully on the promise of their stellar pre-album singles and one would be best served to ignore the members’ pedigree and associations for one true, full spin of the LP, a wonderfully rewarding listening experience, especially for fans of the “classic” 4AD-era.


Brooklynites A Place To Bury Strangers’ approach to their Shoegaze-y Pop Psychedelia is much more aggressive, in-the-red and less doped-out than Big Pink’s turn. APTBS release an outstanding follow up to their most excellent self-titled debut next month. Exploding Head, their first full-length for Mute, has a justified title as it is a taut set of 10 high-strung sonic assaults and dripping-wet-in-a-cave songs in just under 43 minutes. The band can shift seamlessly between intense “You Made Me Realise”-esque moments to murky JAMC slink and jangly New Order-informed pop. The track “Everything Always Goes Wrong” creates a sinister and menacing atmosphere that evokes a lo-fi but melodic Death Rock or Black Metal song played by a fired-up Spacemen 3, all before serving up a bouncing Cure bass line for the title track. APTBS also share the “whole-package” approach with Big Pink; Exploding Head’s cover art looks like a pixilated aerial scan of terra firma busting apart. The minimal image’s suggestion plays well with the ear-scorch of the band’s relentless attack. Unlike The Big Pink, there is no controversy about the APTBS’s legitimacy. Mainman Oliver Ackerman spent time in a Virginia-based neo-Shoegazer band called Skywave
with a small but loyal cult-following (whose other members went on to form the similarly noisy and wonderful Ceremony) and spends his down-time from APTBS selling his increasingly successful line of hand-wired effects pedals, Death By Audio.


The Big Pink’s A Brief History of Love is in stores today (9/22) and A Place To Bury Strangers’ Expoding Head follows in two weeks on October 6th. Be Sure to pop in to Amoeba Hollywood for the limited vinyl edition of Brief History which boasts a bonus colored 12” featuring the Gang Gang Dance remix of Big Pink’s gorgeous single, “Velvet.” These will likely go fast!


Amoeba Hollywood’s Goth/Industrial Section Featured New Releases Week of 9/22:


Spectre -
10 Pezzi Facili (Ten Easy Tunes) CD [Old Europa Cafe] .
The second solo album from Marcello Fraioli, vocalist and guitarist for cult ritual/folk outfit  AIN SOPH. Minimal orchestrations of prog , folk, new wave, Italian cabaret, and poetry collide on this tight set. Includes one Ain Soph reinterpretation plus cool covers of Franco Battiato's "Magick Shop," Francesco Guccini's "L'Avvelenata", as well as John Barry's "The Persuaders." Recommended.

Habitat -
Code Grey CD [Self-Released]
A higly recommended, extremely limited release of 100(!) copies by L.A. dark and esoteric noisemeisters/soundscapists, Habitat. Fans of Coil and Cyclobe should jump at this gorgeous sophomore release from one of Los Angeles's most promising and unique acts!


In Next Week, Amoeba Hollywood:

The long-awaited archival release from the seminal beginnings of Throbbing Gristle members Genisis P-Orridge and Cosey Fanni Tutti will FINALLY be in stock by next week!

Clan Of Xymox -Emily CDEP [Metropolis]
The classic dark-wave band celebrates its 25th anniversary with this CDEP featuring an exclusive B-Side and remixes of the the group's club hit "Emily" culled from their 2009 comeback album In Love We Trust.


Still Fresh...


Psyclon Nine - We The Fallen CD [Metropolis] The Aggro-Electro act returns its darkest, most aggressive album to date. EVIL!

My Life With The Thrill Kill Kult - Death Threat CD [Sleazebox]
Still dark n' sleazy after all these years! Thrill Kill Kult's 13th studio release!

6Comm - Like Stukas Angels Fall: Retrospect 1984 -1990 CD [Kenaz]
Re-recorded album of classic tracks featuring songs from the early 6Comm period and also a few tracks from his previous work in Death in June. Electro - Folk - Classical - Martial - Experimental -- 16 great songs, including new versions of "Torture Garden" and "Carousel" with new vocal sections. Nice gold foil blocked Digipak!

Jessie Evans - Is It Fire? LIMITED LP/CD [Fantomette]
Former Subtonix/The Vanishing/Autonervous member finally goes solo. Features appearances by Budgie (Siouxsie & The Banshees, The Creatures) and Toby Dammit (Swans, Iggy Pop).


Beatles or Stones?... or Goth-Pop Beatles Covers!?

Posted by Aaron Detroit, September 5, 2009 12:50am | Post a Comment

Beatles Or Stones?” I’m one of those people who is definitely more Rolling Stones than Beatles. That’s not to say there aren’t Fab Four songs or albums I enjoy or even adore (White Album!), but The Stones suit my tastes and aesthetic preferences in music and art much more. The Stones have a classically debaucherous mythos attached to them and their vibe was always darker, nastier and convincingly Satanic compared to their Liverpool rivals.  True: The Beatles certainly had their more nefarious moments (“Helter Skelter,” “Happiness is a Warm Gun,” The Butcher Cover and Aleister Crowley's appeance on the Sgt, Peppers' album sleeve), but I’m definitely more “Paint It Black” than “Good Day Sunshine.”

However, some people still believe The Beatles held the keys to the infernal gates of Hell. Certainly several of my teenage Goth-Pop icons saw a dark thread in the Beatles' work (or maybe it was just their genius for unforgettable melodies – those do help bands cross-over!) Siouxsie Sioux’s devotion to the Fab Four turned out two great covers; first, an incendiary and punked-out “Helter Skelter” on the Banshees’ 1978 debut Scream:



...and the band scored one of their biggest International hits with their lush 1983 reading of “Dear Prudence.”


Banshees’ contemporary Daniel Ash (Bauhaus/Tones on Tail/Love & Rockets) displayed his shine for John, Paul, George and Ringo via a (now somewhat-dated) cover of “Day Tripper” on his 1991 solo album, Coming Down.


And the ultimate in Beatles gothic tribute/piss-taking is awarded to Slovenian Industrial-rock godfathers Laibach. In 1988 the group released a camp-yet-dry, near track-by-track cover album of The Beatles’ swansong Let It Be (strangely omitting the title-track). The band even scored a somewhat hit with their oddlly lovely rendition of “Across The Universe.”


The Beatles do ultimately get mega-points from me for saving their namesake and legacy from tarnish by disbanding before the 1970’s could force them into coked-out disco and before the 80’s could force them into ill-advised fluorescent suits and Aqua-net do’s, just like my preferred Stones.

With that said, I am genuinely excited about revisiting and reappraising The Beatles' Catalog when brand-spanking-new remastered editions (especially those limited Mono mixes!) are released on the ominous date of 9/9/09.

Dais Records Unearths COUM Transmissions

Posted by Aaron Detroit, August 11, 2009 04:00am | Post a Comment

Bicoastal boutique label Dais Records --founded in 2007 by Gibby Miller in L.A. and Ryan Martin in Brooklyn -- has, in its brief history, quickly amassed (with no signs of stopping) an impressive back-catalog of instantly classic releases by artists on the obscure and dark end of the spectrum. The label’s roster of quality limited vinyl pressings includes albums by Cult of Youth and Tor Lundvall as well as the sought-after Cold Cave 12”, The Trees Grew Emotions and Died.  The label has also developed a trusted working relationship with Genesis Breyer P-Orridge which has resulted in the vinyl release of Psychic TV’s recent full-length, Mr. Alien Brain vs. The Skinwalkers, and a haunting, previously unreleased 1968(!) archival recording from P-Orridge entitled Early Worm (now out of print).  

A third upcoming team-up between P-Orridge and Dais is another archival release, entitled The Sound of Porridge Bubbling by the infamous COUM Transmissions. Its release will mark the first time most will hear COUM Transmissions, a transgressive performance art collective and band founded, in part, by P-Orridge in 1967 (whose detailed story can be read in a 1999 illustrated biiography entitled Wreckers of Civilisation by Simon Ford). By the time Sound was recorded in 1971 its members also included Cosey Fanni-Tutti and, by 1976, eventually evolved into the seminal and forever holy/unholy Throbbing Gristle.
 
The recordings went unreleased until now due to the rapid activity of the collective pushing them off as a priority.  However, now that the seal on the vault has been cracked, further COUM archive releases via Dais are also in the works .

The Sound of Porridge Bubbling (complete with  liner notes by Genesis!) will be available very soon from Amoeba Hollywood. The Hollywood store has secured several copies of this already sold-out and landmark release and will have them on hand as soon as the label gets them from the plant!
 
Other Current Dais Records Releases In Stock, Amoeba Hollywood:

Tor Lundvall - Sleeping and Hiding
Dreamy bliss in the vein of Talk Talk’s later stuff and Slowdive’s Pygmalion.

Awen - The Bells Before Dawn
American Dark Ambient/Neofolk.

Psychic TV - Mr. Alien Brain vs. The Skinwalkers
Excellent 2008 return of Genesis P-Orridge and company.

Cult of Youth - A Stick to Bind, A Seed To Grow
One of the ten essential dark music releases of 2008!

 

Amoeba Hollywood’s Goth/Industrial Section Featured New Releases Week of 8/11:



Sprung Aus Den Wolken -
Dub & Die plus CD [Klanggalerie]
Originally released in 1981 as an untitled mini album, this was the first release by the German Avant-garde/Industrial/Post-Puink group that was once a member of the "Geniale Dilettanten" movement. Like a more structured early Einstürzende Neubauten. Expanded deluxe release with a set of bonus tracks.

Les Paradisiers – More Tales From The Garden
LP + Digital Download [Disques de Lapin]
Thomas Nola
and O Paradis collaboration! Dark, uneasy and psychedelic trips through the duo’s exotic and anachronous universe, where humid locales not only house jungle birds and cats, but also early 20th Century European speakeasies hosting American Vaudeville and Spanish Cabaret acts with 1980’s Goth sensibilities.



In Next Week, Amoeba Hollywood:

Clan Of Xymox - In Love We Trust CD [Metropolis]
The classic darkk-wave band celebrates its 25th anniversary with the release of a brand new studio album!

also in next week...
Informatik - Arena CD [Metropolis]

Still Fresh...

Nachtmahr - Alle Lust Will Ewigkeit CD [Trisol]
L'ame Immortelle mastermind Thomas Rainer's industrial project's new album.
 
Cold Cave - Love Comes Close LP/CD [Heartworm]
Brilliant scourged synthpop with heavy currents of Joy Division / New Order in its veins. "Supergroup" featuring Wes Eisold (Give Up The Ghost, Some Girls), Dominick Fernow (Prurient) and Caralee McElroy (Xiu Xiu).

6Comm - Like Stukas Angels Fall: Retrospect 1984 -1990 CD [Kenaz]
Re-recorded album of classic tracks featuring songs from the early 6Comm period and also a few tracks from his previous work in Death in June. Electro - Folk - Classical- Martial- Experimental -- 16 great songs, including new versions of "Torture Garden" and "Carousel" with new vocal sections. Nice gold foil blocked Digipak!

Jessie Evans -
Is It Fire? LIMITED  LP/CD [Fantomette]
Former Subtonix/The Vanishing/Autonervous member finally goes solo. Features appearances by Budgie (Siouxsie & The Banshees, The Creatures) and Toby Dammit (Swans, Iggy Pop).


Coming Up...

Der Blutharsch - Everything is Alright! LP [SOON!]
Death In June - Black Angel Live! Picture Disc LP+CDEP [September 8]
Black Tape For A Blue Girl – 10 Neurotics CD featuring Brian Viglione of The Dresden Dolls [September 22]

Thomas Nola and O Paradis: Supergroup Paradise

Posted by Aaron Detroit, August 4, 2009 04:00am | Post a Comment

Les Paradisiers
is a musical power-marriage between American underground musician, author, and film director Thomas Nola (et Son Orchestre) and Barcelona-based Mediterranean-Neo-folk artist Demian, aka O Paradis. The duo’s first aural offspring, More Tales From The Garden, was recently released on LP with Free Digital Download Card via Nola’s own Disques de Lapin imprint. The LP features a dozen dark, uneasy and psychedelic trips through Thomas and Demian’s exotic and anachronous universe, where humid locales not only house jungle birds and cats, but also early 20th Century European speakeasies hosting American Vaudeville and Spanish Cabaret acts with 1980’s Goth sensibilities.

Tales’ atmosphere is helped along by the fact that it was birthed into one being in two very separate places-- Demian’s parts were recorded in Barcelona and Thomas’s contributions were captured in Boston, MA. Therefore, the album is also a bilingual affair, split between American English and Peninsular Spanish.

However, much like O Paradis’s collaborative efforts with the now-defunct Austrian neo-cabaret act Novy Svet, Nola and Demian are actually a logical pairing. Both artists are popular among fans of the Neofolk genre but neither of them carry or are weighted-down by any of the problematic dogma that exists within it. The pair’s main respective projects seem to strive to weave new surreal worlds out of the pieces and tatters of this one, rather then anchoring their songs in a particular part of real world history. Where many of their peers’ albums are academic in nature, Nola and O Paradis’s output is usually looser and takes itself less seriously. Les Paradisiers doesn’t stop this trend. 

On a Nola-led tune, “Don’t Be Afraid of Paradise,” a near-standard neofolk arrangement of martial drumming and samples suddenly shifts and then glides into an Exotica-swing complete with a croaking bassline and the gentle call of:

“Where are you little birds of paradise?
Doesn’t the moon get bright?
Are you stuck to the ground,
Are you in flight?
Don’t be afraid of paradise.”

By the time the subtle-but-catchy synths kick-in a third of the way into the track, it’s hard to believe Nola isn’t trying to inspire at the very least a wry grin out of the listener, if not an actual laugh.
On “Oui Oui, Je Suis un Paradisier,” Nola dryly declares, “I think I’ll dye my ascot black.” That isn’t to say Les Paradisiers is all playfulness and no bite. There is a languid cover of Death In June’s “Runes and Men” with its purposefully queasy production and uneven harmonies. On “A Little Moonglow,” the bird calls and jungle sounds that seem so impish at the beginning of the album turn ominous and the bird of paradise’s “wings are clipped.” There are also darkly blissful moments, “The Country Diary of an Edwardian Lady” has Velvet Underground and Nico-Haze with a vocal melody cribbed from Nick Cave’s “Into My Arms,” whilst the slinky rhythms and sleigh-bells of “Mirame Otra Vez” are accompanied by the closing chant of the album: “We are so happy, we’re already dead.” Paradise Here and Hereafter, indeed.

More Tales From The Garden LP (+Digital Download Card), as well as catalog tiltes by Thomas Nola et Son Orchetre and O Paradis are available now from Amoeba Hollywood.

Video: Les Paradisiers Album Trailer, featuring album outro track "Ornithophilia."



Amoeba Hollywood’s Goth/Industrial Section Featured New Releases:


Cold Cave - Love Comes Close LP/CD [Heartworm] 
Brilliant scourged synthpop with heavy currents of Joy Division / New Order in its veins. "Supergroup" featuring Wes Eisold [Give Up The Ghost, Some Girls], Dominick Fernow [Prurient] and Caralee McElroy [Xiu Xiu].

6Comm - Like Stukas Angels Fall: Retrospect 1984 -1990 CD [Kenaz]
Re-recorded album of classic tracks featuring songs from the early 6comm period and also a few tracks from his previous work in Death in June. Electro - Folk - Classical- Martial- Experimental -- 16 great songs,
including new versions of "Torture Garden" and "Carousel" with new vocal sections. Nice gold foil blocked Digipak!

Black Sun Productions - Somwhere Between Desire & Despair CD [Torurette]
Awesome full-length new collaboration between
Black Sun Productions and Val Denham! Recorded live at the Transformer Festival, Biel, Switzerland, March 31, 2007!

Jessie Evans - Is It Fire? LIMITED  LP/CD [Fantomette]
Former Subtonix/The Vanishing/Autonervous member finally goes solo. Features appearances by Budgie [Siouxsie & The Banshees, The Creatures] and Toby Dammit [Swans, Iggy Pop]



In Next Week, Amoeba Hollywood:

Sprung Aus Den Wolken - Dub & Die plus CD [Klanggalerie]
Originally released in 1981 as an untitled mini album, it was the first release by this German Avant-garde/Industrial group that was once a member of the "Geniale Dilettanten" movement. Like a more structured early Einstürzende Neubauten. Expanded deluxe release with a set of bonus tracks.

Magas - Violent Arp
12" + Digital Download Code [Punch Records]
Transparent Red vinyl in special outfolder/cut cover. Limited edition of 333 hand-numbered copies. Violent Arp is exac
tly what the name implies. 6-song mini LP. Arp riffs, 808s and tough, surreal vocals with a hard rock sensibility. Dark ultra-minimal techno to vintage hard rock., Magas comes barreling toward you! Includes coupon for free mp3 download of entire album!


Still Fresh...

Nachtmahr - Alle Lust Will Ewigkeit CD [Trisol]
L'ame Immortelle mastermind Thomas Rainer's industrial project's new album.


Tor Lundvall
- Sleeping and Hiding Limited vinyl LP [Dais]
Dais is flawless! Not a bad release in the bunch! Dreamy bliss in the vein of Talk Talk’s later stuff and Slowdive’s Pygmalion.

Rome - Flowers fr
om Exile CD [Trisol]
Great New Full-Len
gth at DOMESTIC price!


Coming Up...

Der Blutharsch - Everything's Alright! LP [SOON!]
Clan Of Xymox - In Love We Trust
[August 18 2009]
Informatik - Arena [August 18 2009]
Death In June - Black Angel Live! Picture Disc LP+CDEP [September 8]
Psyclon Nine - We The Fallen [September 8, 2009]
Assemblage 23 - Spark (single) [September 22, 2009]
Suicide Commando - Die Motherfucker Die [September 22, 2009]

 
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