Ampacity – Encounter One


I don’t want to leave Poland to live anywhere else, even now, when a lot of young people are leaving for a “better” life. Especially not now, when there are emerging acts like Ampacity smearing our brains with day-glo paint and suffocating us with thick weed smoke. Released under the auspices of legendary experimental label Nasiono RecordsEncounter One might be just the best answer to Earthless from the other side of the pond. Perfectly flowing, 70’s-heavy jam rock that will take you to stratosphere and back with their exhilarating brand of tight instrumentals supported with wild guitar solos and fuzzed-out organ workouts. And if I’m lucky, I might just see them on Friday. Hope I’ll get there and they’ll melt my brain. I can’t wait for more encounters from Ampacity. Highly recommended!

Nevada Greene – Across Our Wide Misery


The four piece instrumental band Nevada Greene provides perfect daydreaming background music with their ambient soaked guitar compositions that may either become some of the best studying music for some people or the source of a major zone-out for others. Either way, you should check this out, because there’s some real beauty hidden in the simlicity of the tracks. And since the best things happen to those who wait, there’s a heavenly violin making a presence in the last track. Recommended!

Mir – Shock Your Moneymaker


Among the many bands named Mir, this incarnation of Mir is a Basel, Switzerland based collective of 4-5 Worshippers of the Drum, doing freestyle, noisy, industrial clatter that squeezes the ubiquitous percussive instruments betwixt squealing synths, psychedelic electric guitar workouts and brutal, low-end basslines for anarchic, openly structured electronic free improv not unlike that of Supersilent or Throbbing Gristle’s wilder moments. It’s wild, it’s untamed, it’s often chaotic and it’s awesome. Recommended!

Also, if you enjoy what you hear, buy the CD from A Tree in a Field Records!

Review: Bataille Solaire – Documentaires


(Cassette, Constellation Tatsu, 2013)

(Whew! It’s finally over. What a nasty case of a writer’s block I had with that one. And for a reason – this multi-faceted offering from a dimension travelling Canadian doesn’t offer any straight-away answers, instead inviting the listener to fish for deeper meanings and conclusions, wildly different and equally adventurous at the same time. Truly a hypnotizing record.)

The new cassette by Canada’s electronic experimentator Asaël Robitaille might be the new high water mark for the Californian cassette label Constellation Tatsu. It seems like with each new batch they try to level-up from the previous batch, providing a higher quality and more adventurous material than the one before that. With Documentaires, Bataille Solaire sheds the trappings of the overall prog electronic/kosmische musik genres for a fresh, new look – filled with samples, attempts at musique concrete, as well as some well thought-out track structures. It’s like travelling back and forth between the early electronic era experimental recordings studio filled with reel-to-reel machines and the set of a scientific documentary. Well, no wonder: after all, the label’s description sums it up greatly:

“An extremely loose concept-album about the dissolution of borders between spiritual and material, animal and vegetal, natural and digital, microscopic and macro, the 4 elements, religions, musical schools, as seen through the prism of the scientific documentary.”

Those who remember Bataille Solaire from his previous cassette, Baal Shamash Et Son Char Céleste, filled with varying degrees of progressive electronic worship, might be really surprised to find Robitaille working on looping samples and snippets of sound on his newest release. Starting with opening abstract cut-and-paste speech patterns in “Documentaires”, the man sets himself far away from the cosmic vistas of his previous work in favor of a more experimental, dadaistic approach not unlike OPN’s “Stone of Spiritual Understanding” from his split with Rene Hell.

The two first tracks are harshly cut-up collages of human voices filtered through strange New Age and tropical electronica approximations, something like an early draft for an 80’s crime/s-f movie gone wild with the samples. They serve both as appetizers, intriguing the listener to step further into Asael’s sound-world as well as little “soundchecks”, constructing the retro-futuristic world of the cassette from randomly scattered elements. The miniature “Robot-Insecte” is even weirder, rendering the listener confuzzed by the barrage of ever-changing, harsh electronic synthesis, with the brutal bass boosts. Then comes the monster that is “Microsupernova”, a nearly 12 minute long life-affirming wall of monumental synth sounds which sound as if it came from a Syd Mead drawing, if this was the kind of future our parents were envisioning. The kind of future where the Internet meant VR helmets and gloves, not Facebook likes and Twitter followers. “Échelles humaines” is another gem, the cinematic journey through nostalgic times when the Internet was still mostly seen on television and was portrayed through cheesy (but then mind-blowing, especially to a child’s mind) computer animations portraying strings of 0’s and 1’s flowing out of computer screen or surfing across the globe on a keyboard with obsolete terms like “information superhighway” springing to mind.

Documentaires is one of the most rewarding, nostalgic and yet fast-forward albums I’ve heard in a while. It might be compared to the work of Seabat, but Robitaille takes it up a notch and makes it even better – a colorful testament to science, nature and the possibilities of human mind. Like a throwback to the utopian times where the Internet was a realm of the selected few. when the conversations took part on UseNet, way before trolls, haters, social media and narcissism. Thank you for showing us a glimpse of that lost world, Mr. Robitaille. Hats off to You.

Al Lover – Vodun Moon 7″

Debut 7 inch vinyl single from San Francisco producer Al Lover combines the best of droning, psychedelic rock and the white hot hip-hop beats into a musical Nirvana that drives itself into the listener’s skull like a freight train and doesn’t want to leave. Not that anyone would like these beats to leave their head – this is stellar stuff. If you enjoy the sounds, buy the 7” at PNKSLM website.

Quite possibly the best version of Faust’s “Krautrock” there will ever be. One comment sums it up especially well: I achieved transcendence several times during this.” If you don’t achieve transcendence during this, then get out of my face.

Bella & Joe – I Saw It All With My Acid Ears

This short EP by Bella & Joe flows almost in a heartbeat and makes you want to hit the replay button and listen to the whole album again. And again. And again. And considering the circumstances in which this shortie was created (it was created after Joe Finger & Bella Blue took some acid) makes you also want to take some LSD. In five short songs the psychedelic dream shines through trippy and catchy hooks somewhere between sunkissed bedroom pop and psychedelic rock. A small nugget, yet a nutricious one, yet leaving you craving for more. Recommended.