15 08 2005

RIP John Loder 1946-2005


Dear Stephen

I'm very sad to say that John Loder passed away in the early hours of Saturday morning. His daughter Natasha has posted a message about his death which you might want to read, along with
comments from some of the people who knew him :


Arrangements are being made for his cremation and some kind of service next week, and following that we intend to have a big fuck-off rock and roll memorial party to celebrate his
life. I'll let you know more as it gets confirmed.

Meanwhile John's legacy lives on through our work here at Southern, which is I think the best tribute I could pay him.

x Allison

14 08 2005

C&R is Stylus' album of the week

Capture & Release
Hydrahead; 2005

Khanate vocalist Alan Dubin sometimes screams so shrilly that he goes black; passes out from the power of his own breath. Bassist James Plotkin blew four bass heads in the past year; Stephen O’Malley plumbs the darkest depths of A minor, his strings nearly disconnected from their neck. Whatever heads drummer Tim Wyskida hammers have passed the terror test; that skin company’s practically got a goldmine of an endorsement ad waiting in the wings. Significantly, the gear fails to acquiesce most of the time, beaten into the void as a beachhead by tidal torrent. Khanate’s sound is palpable textbook ratio; output over input is realized in grievous amounts of gain that shake the gonads of Gaia itself. Gong, cymbals, toms; an aluminum necked Travis Bean; three vintage Sunn Model-T 100-watt heads; a cadre of 4X12 cabinets; an Ampeg SVT head; various reverb and delay units. Muscle, breath, electricity: Sunn O))) is certainly denser, but Khanate is decidedly darker. Where Sunn crowd riffs together into pure concentrate, Khanate allow the basic elements of structure to separate; extremes are more extreme when they number; aural anvils anesthetize. Physiology has no recourse but to react to sound of this stripe.

Things Viral, Khanate’s 2003 release, showed a different approach, more reactive – and interactive. Viral’s first track, “Commuted,” breaks down into call and response improvisation about three quarters of the way through: Dubin’s ribald vocals spin webbed Digitech strands; Wyskida flails his sticks like a blind swordsman. O’Malley patiently sits back, burning a slow fire. A rumbling floor tom fusillade finally seals the circle. And Plotkin’s bass drops like Goliath. Khanate refined their use of space on their first two records; they’d done everything they could do with it. Silence was practically eroticized; there was a ritualistic devotion to sonic absence. How effective it was: When sound did seize the air, it was fucking feral. With Khanate’s latest, Capture & Release, silence is cast aside; two long pieces provide point and counterpoint in a bestial din whose horror factor is increased tenfold with Dubin’s lyrics laid overtop; not a killer’s confessional, but the act itself.

The first track, “Capture,” cuts clearly to the chase: Dubin’s voice rises. Even as he implores his object to “come closer,” the listener couldn’t be further from the prey; Dubin’s dwelling on commands occludes the object. Rheumy riffs flow unimpeded around Wyskida’s pounding percussion: snare presses take flight slowly, like big black buzzards indifferent to an automobile; they decide to pick at a blacktopped carcass one last time before slipping into the air. O’Malley and Plotkin work independently and as one, making good on Quantz’ assertion that A minor is most suitable for morose music. When the entire outfit comes together, “Capture” ensues its excruciatingly linear motion. Once the harmonic statement’s made, the pieces fall away, as Pathetique era Fushitsusha erected guitar totems only to tear them down. Wyskida is content with small flourishes; cymbal’d clatter that apes Tibetan rolmo – Buddhist brass reserved for ritual. “Capture” closes reluctantly, with a confusing storm of thundering low end and vocal squall.

“Release” takes its time coming up. Dubin finally lets the listener in on what’s taken place. As the first 18 minutes found one floating in appositional locutions, “Release” is “performative;” a world weaved from words. Making the utterance makes it the case:

I release
And everything you are
Is on the ground
Broken open
And spinning

Leaves soak
They drink
You are blood
That’s all

This isn’t description, this simply is. Whereas descriptive statements drench the intellect in addled adjectives, performatives are psychoactive pliers, pulling the will into unwanted exile; there are no blinders for the brain. Like A Clockwork Orange’s Alex, the eyes are forced to feast on the will’s inclination. Cracked open like clams, they rest unprotected; silty shells provide no solace from intent. O’Malley, Plotkin, and Wyskida paint purpose in heavy handed hue behind Dubin’s recitation. Layer after layer, the sounds issue. O’Malley’s guitar relaxes into a repetitive thematic; as Slint salted song with dynamic figures, O’Malley makes better on the process, walking slowly with Wyskida’s hi-hat clicks – spurs sounding from the boots of a dead man. Dubin screams: “You are blood! Nothing more!” This isn’t material reduction; this is fucking failed metempsychosis. Dubin’s narration is gleeful; the passing is utterly incomplete. Of course what better way to enunciate the failure than with a gong; Wyskida complies with a vegetal shimmer that rots over the last few seconds of the piece.

Capture & Release is evidence of a band well aware of its powers; the varying attack of Things Viral and their eponymous recording has now been reconciled. And what a grim settlement it is. Highest recommendation.


14 08 2005

why sunn0))) rules




Sunn 0))) - 01.07.2005 - Photo by: Klavs Bo Christensen/Rockphoto

13 08 2005





Hails! Stephen,

I hope all is well, Oren suggested I send this picture of my cat.. My wife discovered it has some norwegian ancestry so we have been teaching it about its black metal roots. also some pics of Oren and Brendan Walls levelling the corner hotel on thursday.. a gig that prompted some fuckwit to repeat "this isn't music.. its sound effects!" about 500 times and some pissy smelling hippy to break out the tambourine in the audience.

Grimmest expressions of appreciation and I cannot wait for black 1


13 08 2005

essential black doom


It's not often I champion a release of Relapse records... however, they finally got their wits about them and have reissued the glorious australian black doom act Disembowelment's entire output on a 2CD/3CD set. This stuff emerged originaly in the early 90s to much obscurity. In recent years they are primary name drop in the funeral doom movement, although I see little in common with the European Thergothon disciples. Rather, Disembowelment created a highly atmospheric vibe of black metal with slow parts (as cold as Dante's 9th circle) charged with somewhat southeastern asian flavor. The rather tinny and flat solid state guitar sound drops this somewhere in an area close to some Gorgoroth recordings in a way! If Infernus was heavily into Dead Can Dance and hash perhaps (maybe he is). Beautiful ceremonial drug music at its best moments, and certainly expansive beyond the labels description at its worst. Actually the demo material on this sounds like 5th grade doomdeathgrind on cheap korean made guitars, so that's the worst. Albums are great though.

12 08 2005

another soul lost


Original O))) design by Savx. Recipient and ink delivery by unknown parties.

12 08 2005

more from William



Hailing together with Markus Wolff & William in PDX, same period as below

12 08 2005

sunn photos






These are from August 2003: S.H.O.D. pdx, Graceland, and MARS invokation at Dune's..

Thanks to William Vitholf for evoking the past.

12 08 2005

Cliff & sunn0)))


09 08 2005

KHNT tour update

Touring in support of CAPTURE AND RELEASE (Hydrahead LP/CD)
Sun Sept 18, Boston, MA - Great Scott
Mon Sept 19, Burlington, VT - Higher Ground w/ Wolf Eyes
Tues Sept 20, Montreal, QB - El Salon
Wed Sept 21, Ottawa, ON - Mavericks
Thurs Sept 22, Toronto, ON - The Music Gallery
Fri Sept 23, Detroit, MI - Magic Stick
Sat Sept 24, Madison, WI - Memorial Union
Sept 25, Chicago, IL - Empty Bottle WIRE Adventure in Music Festival
Tues Sept 27, Columbus, OH - High Five TBA w/ Earth
Wed Sept 28, Lexington, KY - Mecca w/ Earth
Thurs Sept 29, Nashville, TN - The End
Fri Sept 30, Atlanta, GA - Drunken Unicorn w/Wolf Eyes
Sat Oct 1, Mt Pleasant, SC - The Village Tavern, SC
Sun Oct 2, Charlotte, NC - Milestone
Mon Oct 03, VA - TBC
Tues Oct 4, Baltimore, MD - Ottobar
Wed Oct 5, New York, NY - Mercury Lounge

19th-27th November in the UK

Booking Europe: Vincent/Conspiracy www.conspiracyrecords.com/bookings/
Booking States: Angela/Eclipse www.eclipsebooking.com

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