20 06 2009

Romone fog


11 06 2009



SUNN O))) & Pansonic- "Che" 10"
(also featuring Alan Vega and Stephen Burroughs)

Although there were no out-takes released from the recent SUNN O))) album "Monoliths and Dimensions" , this 10" vinyl tribute to Suicide released on Blast First is as close to "extra material" from those sessions as we will see. SUNN O))) and Pansonic collaborate on the Suicide cover "Che". Vocals by Joe Preston. Blast First had the enthusiasm to proclaim the words below:
more info on the 10" Suicide tribute series is here: http://www.blastfirstpetite.com/

Limited editon of 1500 White Vinyl & 1500 Clear Vinyl

This is serious......serious as a heart attack!
The hooded ones touch branch wands with the unsmiling Finlanders for six epic minutes.
Joe Preston intones the incantation as inscribed by the seer, Vega.
Sky's crack, lightning bolts rend the sky, Valkyries ride the storm.

Flip the disc,
13 Crosses, 16 Blazin' Skulls.
Sci-Fi electronic metal machine music.
A live in hell 2008 version of a song first heard on Vega's cruelly ignored 2007 album "Station"
All hail.

Lost soulman of the Black Country, Stephen Burroughs, sometimes head Head of "Head of David". Gira-esque acoustic version and Stephen's first visit to a recording studio in near a decade.
Time's a circle.

Twisted tunes in an inside out package.
Beautifully rendered "hidden" drawings by Coulter Jacobsen: drawn and re-drawn from memory.
The best batch yet.....?

Available from Blastfirstpetite.com and Southernlord.com

11 06 2009

CSIHAR speaks


Methods of Mayhem
Blackenedfest headliners embark on their first U.S .tour in a decade
by Phil Freeman

There are a lot of good reasons to attend the Blackenedfest tour. Openers Withered take black metal and thrash into some dark new places, while Cattle Decapitation and Cephalic Carnage turn grindcore and death metal into politically engaged, jazzy, even psychedelic art. And if Marduk ever manages to enter the country (they've missed a bunch of tour dates due to visa problems), ticket buyers will get a heavy dose of old-fashioned Swedish black-metal nihilism. But for now, the biggest attraction is the headlining band, Mayhem, touring the U.S. for the first time in 10 years.

One of the earliest Norwegian black-metal bands (and the first to release a record — 1987's Deathcrush EP), Mayhem formed in 1984, following on the heels of pioneers like Venom and Bathory. But they didn't get famous until almost a decade later — for all the wrong reasons. During the recording of their first album, De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas, guitarist Euronymous was murdered by bassist Varg Vikernes, who was subsequently sent to prison (he was released earlier this year). The album became a sensation, its buzzsaw guitar riffs and blasting drums inspiring literally hundreds of bands to this day. The vocalist on De Mysteriis, replacing Per Yngve "Dead" Ohlin (who'd lived up to his nickname by committing suicide in the band's communal house), was a Hungarian named Attila Csihar.

Csihar, who left Mayhem after the De Mysteriis sessions and rejoined in 2006, doesn't sound like any other singer on the extreme-metal scene. His range is almost operatic, extending from a high-pitched screech reminiscent of Einstürzende Neubauten's Blixa Bargeld to a guttural growl. He also divides his time between the high-speed blasts of Mayhem and the ultra-slow, ultra-low doom drones of Sunn O))). His voice can be heard on three of the four tracks on the brand new Sunn O))) disc, Monoliths & Dimensions. On opening cut "Aghartha," he intones lyrics about the hidden world that, legend has it, exists within the hollow Earth. His roar and thick Eastern European accent bring to mind Milan Fras, the frontman for Slovenian industrial-rock art troupe Laibach.

"I was inspired by Laibach while I did those vocal lines," he says. "I didn't know that it was that obvious, but that's great. I was always amazed by Milan's voice, how he could go that deep down, and it took me many years of practicing to be able to do that. Laibach was one of my biggest inspirations back in the '80s, besides Current 93, Skinny Puppy, Front Line Assembly, etc. And of course, some extreme underground metal bands like Celtic Frost."

Skinny Puppy doesn't seem to have been just a sonic influence on Csihar, but a visual one as well. They famously dressed in elaborate costumes and used props in a highly theatrical manner onstage, something Csihar does with both Mayhem and Sunn O))). At a 2007 Sunn O))) show, while other group members wore the hooded monk's robes they're famous for, Csihar was dressed as some kind of tree/zombie, with branches jabbing in all directions from his head and arms. At the New York opening gig of the Blackenedfest tour, he was flanked onstage by two severed heads on spikes and masked like a demon, with a hood, armored bracelets from wrist to elbow and an upside-down cross holding a four-armed Christ on his chest. He brings a theatricality to black metal that's sorely lacking in most music these days.

Between tours, Csihar travels the world, gaining inspiration for lyrics from the sights and sounds. "I wrote the lyrics of [the 2007 Sunn O))) EP] Oracle in Tokyo, just under the gates of the Emperor's castle," he recalls. "I like to involve real atmosphere into Sunn O)))'s music and lyrics, and I really felt the presence of some strange energies in that historical place."

The title of the latest Sunn O))) disc was inspired by a monument known as the Trilithon, a Stonehenge-like set of three stones found underneath a Roman temple in Baalbek, Lebanon. "I traveled there with my friend, straight to the land controlled by Hezbollah," he says. "I've always been interested by ancient civilizations. That's my hobby to travel to these places. I've been to Egypt a couple of times, also the ancient structures of Mexico, or the mystical perfect rock-spheres in Costa Rica. But the monoliths of Baalbeck are the supreme ones, and still on the top of my list."

What do his Mayhem bandmates think of Csihar's artier work with Sunn O)))? "Well, it's not really their kind of music, but of course, they respect it," he says. "Especially Rune Erickson, a.k.a. Blasphemer, Mayhem's ex-guitarist."

The last Mayhem studio recording, 2007's Ordo Ad Chao, is deliberately primitive-sounding but surprisingly fierce. It's a heavy album that marked Csihar's return to the group by honoring the spirit of De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas. What does the future hold? "I really hope that one day there will be a new Mayhem album, but it will take some time," says Csihar. "In our case, it's normal, since Mayhem celebrates 25 years of existence this year and has only released four full-lengths in that quarter of a century."


08 06 2009

... and a WIRE neghead

from WIRE June 2009 letters page

Sunn don’t shine

As a reader of your magazine for many years now, I always appreciated you featuring new avant garde and experimental music as well as your ability to introduce the historic avant garde to new generations. But with much disappointment I have noticed that recently this ability has faded away more and more. For example I refer to your heavy focus on Doom, Black and new ‘avant’ Metal, and your grim attempt to make this genre appear as a new form of experimental music (I admit I was truly annihilated when I saw the idiot posers known as Sunn O))) on your cover). Thankfully, as a 57 year old music lover, I know exactly what this is all about – it is no more than a mere commercial trend.

But what finally pushed me to write this letter is the review that Rob Young wrote about My Cat Is An Alien & Enore Zaffiri’s Through The Magnifying Glass Of Tomorrow CD/DVD on Atavistic (The Wire 303). This is a work that should be considered a milestone of the last decade. I know Enore Zaffiri’s craft and recordings very well. As Brian Morton concluded in issue 270: “No one with an interest in recent syntheses of voice and electronic music can afford to miss them.” It is not surprising he is involved with My Cat Is An Alien, who I consider one of the most original new music entities. Their collaborative CD is the perfect union of two generations – an actual bridge between historic and new avant garde. I saw the trio performing last November, and it is indeed the subtlety that disappointed Young which is the real strong point of their musical encounter. The same subtlety makes works like Musica Per Un Anno and Progetto Q81 timeless masterpieces, and in this record it’s even more enhanced by My Cat Is An Alien’s unmistakable musical lyricism.

Last but not least, I must comment on Young’s mistaken description of the DVD contents – the “video paintings” which he credits to both Roberto Opalio and Enore Zaffiri are in fact how Zaffiri defines his

video art, as in the DVD titles. This has nothing to do with the film by Roberto Opalio entitled Light_Earth_Blue_Silver featured in the set, and which Young does not mention. This is a true oversight, since some years ago I attended the screening of this film at the Sage in Gateshead. I can affirm that I have rarely seen such amazing work even by the most highly praised film makers.

Undeniably the DVD represents a key document, featuring for the first time ever two important chapters in the video art experience of both artists. This is the kind of work a magazine like The Wire should believe in.

—Nuno Fernandes via email

08 06 2009

Sunn review in WIRE by SAVX

Sunn O))) Monoliths & Dimensions Southern Lord CD/2xLP

Monoliths & Dimensions is the seventh Sunn O))) album, and their greatest achievement to date. True to previous form, Greg Anderson and Stephen O’Malley have gathered around them a cast of players whose work they hold in high regard – previous collaborators like vocalist Attila Csihar, Australian guitarist/electronics player Oren Ambarchi and Earth guitarist Dylan Carlson, as well as composer/arranger Eyvind Kang and trombonist Julian Priester, whose playing appears on records by Sun Ra, Herbie Hancock and John Coltrane’s Africa/Brass. Their inclusion adds an extra pulsating membrane to the Sunn O))) sound, one that allows the group to usher in elements of modern composition and jazz without either being immediately apparent during the record’s four movements.
Monoliths & Dimensions opens with “Agahartha” where the duo’s now familiar layering of down-tuned guitar chords works as a cleansing ceremony before the real action commences. Suddenly Csihar’s guttural growl appears, a huge swell of smouldering energy pushed to the foreground of the mix, each tongue-curled utterance carefully considered before being released like a dying breath. Behind him buzzes an 11-piece ensemble, their various instruments, including conch shells and a hydrophone, blurring together like a gigantic swarm of flies. This is followed by “Big Church”, a hymn of deconsecration with a spectral arrangement by Kang, where a six-piece choir dovetails with Anderson, O’Malley, Carlson and Ambarchi’s guitars. “Hunters & Gatherers (Cydonia)” is a continuation, only with a male choir backing Csihar’s recitation. Embellished with horns, bombarded with guitars and transcendentally tweaked, it’s the one track that risks falling into over-egged self-parody.
“Alice”, however, is the album’s masterpiece, a slowly descending instrumental where the guitar chimes gradually break down and succumb to a delicate wash of strings, harp, brass and woodwinds, Priester’s exquisite trombone solo being the perfect conclusion to what is almost a perfect album. For those still suspicious of the group’s cowled performances and allegiance to Black Metal, Monoliths & Dimensions shows that great art knows no boundaries.

Edwin Pouncey

07 06 2009

Æthenor Bristol


06 06 2009

(初心) remains






04 06 2009

SUNN O))) USA 09 pt.1


SUNN O))) will be heading to the Midwest for the first time in quite some time and playing shows in many cities/states they have not been to before. The lineup for these sonic rituals will be:

Attila Csihar- Invocations
Steve Moore- Trombone, and keys
Stephen O’Malley- Guitar
Greg Anderson- Bass

SUNN O))) w/ special guests: Eagle Twin

Thu 07/02/09 Chicago, IL Empty Bottle
Sun 07/05/09 Minneapolis, MN Varsity Theater
Mon 07/06/09 Omaha, NE Sokol Auditorium / Underground
Tue 07/07/09 Kansas City, MO The Riot Room
Wed 07/08/09 St. Louis, MO The Firebird
Fri 07/10/09 Dekalb, IL House Cafe
Sat 07/11/09 Pontiac, MI Eagle Theater
Sun 07/12/09 Newport, KY Southgate House

west coast dates for aug 09 and east coast for sep 09 to be announced soon

04 06 2009

Furstenhof remains


04 06 2009

Wolverton & Jamie


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