29 04 2013

QE2 and Queen Victoria - Horn wars 2008

The QE2 thrashes the Queen Victoria in a horn blowing contest at Zeebrugge on 19th July 2008.

29 04 2013

Curating a stage at OFF Festival, Kotowice 3rd August 2013


Happy to have been invited to curate a stage at OFF FESTIVAL in Katowice Poland on the 3rd of August this summer. Looking forward to this great group of bands/friends.



Spring is finally here, the flowers are blooming, the birds are chirping: it’s the perfect time to announce that Stephen O’Malley, whom you may know from such projects as Sunn O))), KTL, and Khanate, will be curating one whole day at this year’s Experimental Stage.

Stephen O’Malley is no stranger to any music fan brave enough to venture into the borderlands of extreme metal and avant garde. The artists he selects during his one-day stint as Experimental Stage curator should come as a surprise to no one. The concerts themselves, on the other hand, might come as quite a shock to many.

The curator of the Experimental Stage will make an appearance himself, naturally, performing in Katowice with the project known as KTL, in which he is joined by Vienna-based artist Peter Rehberg. The duo have spent the last six years and five records searching for disharmony in the kinds of sounds that unite fans of Fennesz, Merzbow, and Sunn O))). KTL melds the genres of drone, dark ambient, and noise into a new, unpleasantly majestic and disturbingly palatable form. You might leave this concert a different person.

Chelsea Wolfe
This Californian artist upholds the beautiful traditions of American folk, although she herself claims to draw inspiration from Russian singer-songwriters and Norwegian black metal. And you can definitely tell. Miss Wolfe can sing beautifully hypnotic and dark songs, but you’ll tremble at the funereal atmosphere she conjures up and her distorted guitar will wrack your nerves. Her 2011 album Apokalypsis raised her up from the obscure corners of the underground music scene, while Unknown Rooms: A Collection of Acoustic Songs, which premiered last fall, confirmed just what an excellent and original Chelsea Wolfe is.

Bohren & der Club of Gore
This German band was founded nearly two decades ago by four extreme metal-loving musicians who wanted to play jazz. Or, more precisely, something like Black Sabbath meets Sade. The band is even more precise about its intentions: “The audience must have the feeling of being in a grave.” That might sound like a bad joke, but there’s no kidding around with Bohren & der Club of Gore. Their latest album to date, Beleid, was released on Mike Patton’s Ipecac Records. Pitchfork calls them “the gentlest black metal band on earth,” and we think they might be onto something.

Zeni Geva
The Japanese act Zeni Geva put all the legends of hardcore rock to shame when they redrew the borders of extreme music with their 1990 album Maximum Money Monster. They’ve only gotten better since. Produced by Steve Albini, their records are a unique avant garde cocktail of math rock, noise, and industrial with a pinch of madness, while the band’s concerts are a downright physical experience that tests the audience’s endurance. Zeni Geva is now a rockstar duo: KK Null screams, plays the guitar, and mans the electronics, while the uncanny Tatsuya Yoshida (Ruins, Korekyojinn) drives this diabolic machine from behind the drums. You have to see this.

They call their music the New Wave of Finnish Heavy Metal, but if you think that’s all there is to it, you couldn’t possibly be more wrong. This Finnish band has played practically everything in the twenty-odd years since they’ve been together; their discography features an astounding thirty records (and that’s just their studio albums – add to that over a dozen live releases and countless EPs), and spans everything from kraut, progressive, and noise rock to psychedelic and ambient music. We don’t know what incarnation they’ll appear in at the OFF Festival, but we’re looking forward to the surprise.

Furia’s brand of metal is black as coal. Nihil’s suggestive lyrics are a paralytically explosive combination of naturalism and original metaphors. The members of this Katowice-based band are behind Poland’s recent black metal renaissance, leading the way with such dramatic and genre-bending albums as Grudzień za grudniem and Marzannie, Królowej Polski. They’re not about to win any mainstream music industry awards, and you’re not going to hear them on the radio. If you don’t have the guts to see a black metal show, this might be your only chance to confront your fears.

Piotr Kurek
The Great Electronic Musician from Warsaw, an original and versatile artist. We’ve already hosted him at the OFF Festival, where he performed with the project Piętnastka. This time we’ll see what he has in store as a solo act and what hypnotic, fantastic sonic landscapes emerge from his vintage synthesizers.

Tickets are now available at the OFF Shop as well as at Ticketpro.pl, ebilet.pl and Empik stores in Poland, and internationally at seetickets.com and festicket.com.
Ticket prices:
•    Three Day Pass with campsite: 190 zł
•    Three Day Pass without campsite: 150 zł


29 04 2013

Elodie Lesourd's GRAVETEMPLE photos from Sonic Protest Paris 2013




Elodie Lesourd's website http://www.elodielesourd.com

29 04 2013

Marcus Schmickler KEMP ECHOES (2013)für Ensemble und ElektronikAuftragswerk von ACHT BRÜCKEN | Musik für Köln Kölner Philharmonie


Dear Friends and Colleagues
Surrounded by Stocky on May 12th and 16th...
Marcus Schmickler KEMP ECHOES (2013)für Ensemble und ElektronikAuftragswerk von ACHT BRÜCKEN | Musik für Köln Kölner Philharmonie
Please save the date, I look forward to seeing you.
Best regards,Marcus

12.05.2013 Sunday 20:00KÖLNER PHILHARMONIEACHT BRÜCKEN | Musik für Köln – AbschlusskonzertKölner Vokalsolisten Ensemble musikFabrik Enno Poppe, Leitung Marcus Schmickler, Elektronik 

Karlheinz Stockhausen MIKROPHONIE I (1964)für 6 Spieler, mit Tamtam, 2 Mikrophonen, 2 Filtern mit Reglern
Karlheinz Stockhausen GESANG DER JÜNGLINGE (1955/56)Elektronische Musik
Karlheinz Stockhausen MIKROPHONIE II (1965)für 12 Sänger, Hammondorgel oder Synthesizer, 4 Ringmodulatoren, TonbandFassung für 12 Sänger, Synthesizer, 4 Ringmodulatoren und Tonband 
[ Pause ]
Karlheinz Stockhausen MIXTUR (1964)für Orchester, 4 Sinusgeneratoren und 4 Ringmodulatoren(Vorwärtsversion) 
Marcus Schmickler KEMP ECHOES (2013)für Ensemble und ElektronikAuftragswerk von ACHT BRÜCKEN | Musik für Köln finanziert durch die Ernst von Siemens MusikstiftungUraufführung
Karlheinz Stockhausen MIXTUR (1964)für Orchester, 4 Sinusgeneratoren und 4 Ringmodulatoren(Rückwärtsversion) 

Ein Festival, das Geschichte und aktuelle Tendenzen elektroakustischer Musik beleuchtet, kann ohne ein Stockhausen-Konzert nicht zu Ende gehen. Denn obwohl Karlheinz Stockhausen in vielen Bereichen Bedeutendes leistete, gelangen ihm wirklich bahnbrechende Innovationen mit synthetisch erzeugten Klängen, die er ab etwa 1952 erforschte. Dann auch mit Synthesen elektronischer und „natürlicher“ Klänge, für die „GESANG DER JÜNGLINGE“ ein frühes Beispiel ist. Und nicht zuletzt auf dem Feld der „Live-Elektronik“: Ab den frühen 1960ern nutzte Stockhausen zunehmend die Möglichkeit, Klänge direkt im Konzertsaal elektronisch zu erzeugen oder zu verändern. Auf seinen Pionierwerken aus dieser Phase liegt der Schwerpunkt des Abschlusskonzerts.
Pause gegen 20:55 | Ende gegen 22:30
Das Konzert im Radio: Mittwoch, 12.06.2013, WDR 3, 20:05 Uhr
There is a complementary event to this concert:12.05.2013, 17:30, Kölner PhilharmonieACHT BRÜCKEN | Musik für Köln »Leben mit Stockhausen« Schülergespräch mit Katinka Pasveer

The Amsterdam concert:

29 04 2013

RIP Storm Thorgerson. (and the End of Album Art)


Lovingly reposted from THE NEW YORKER blog

APRIL 25, 2013

The death last week of Storm Thorgerson at the age of sixty-nine was both the end of an era and the reminder of the end of another era. Thorgerson was one of the premier rock-album designers of the seventies. His company, Hipgnosis, worked with dozens of artists, including Led Zeppelin (“Houses of the Holy,” “Presence”), T. Rex (“Electric Warrior”), and Peter Gabriel (the first three eponymous records), but they’re best known for their work with Pink Floyd: Thorgerson and Hipgnosis created the cover for the 1973 album “The Dark Side of the Moon,” first and foremost, but also “Wish You Were Here” and “Animals.” The Pink Floyd connection stretched back into childhood: Thorgerson was a classmate of both Syd Barrett and Roger Waters, and he was later the best man at David Gilmour’s wedding.
The story behind the cover of “The Dark Side of the Moon” is as unassuming as it is legendary: Thorgerson supposedly brought seven different designs to the band, who looked them over and, after a few minutes, pointed at the prismatic triangle. As the album became a classic-rock monolith, remaining on the Billboard chart for more than seven hundred weeks, the cover became an icon of classic rock—and of modern commercial art—in its own right. Here, in a short interview, Thorgerson discusses some of his most famous creations, including the “Wish You Were Here” cover, which was wrapped in black plastic to obscure the design.
Thorgerson’s death is a reminder of a larger transition in popular music: the fact that the visual accompaniment has changed drastically. During the nineteen-fifties and early nineteen-sixties, the dominant language for LP cover art was portraiture. The vast majority of Frank Sinatra albums, for example, show Sinatra’s face, sometimes photographed, sometimes illustrated, with an eye toward the mood of the music. Some labels began to change the language of the LP cover, most notably Blue Note, which, under the direction of Reid Miles, used close-up, atmospheric photography (often by label co-founder Francis Wolff) and stark, bold graphic design. Things changed again in the late sixties, when Peter Blake created the high-concept cover for the Beatles’ “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band,” and even legitimate Pop artists like Andy Warhol supplied covers or concepts for bands like the Velvet Underground and the Rolling Stones. Thorgerson and other top designers of the seventies (Peter Corriston, for example, who was perhaps the most innovative of all, with his die-cut work for Led Zeppelin’s “Physical Graffiti” and the Stones’ “Some Girls”) built on the backs of these innovations, and they paved the way for New-Wave and post-punk starts like Peter Saville.
That’s an incredibly incomplete pocket history of pop album covers, yet it still includes at least six big names whose work will persist for decades. It would be difficult to find even half that many important album designers now. This is not to say that there are not gifted visual artists working with rock artists, or bands who foreground visuals. John Baizley, the lead singer of the superb heavy-metal band Baroness, furnishes the artwork for his group and others. Gorillaz, initially a collaboration between Damon Albarn and the comic-book artist Jamie Hewlett, has always had a strong visual identity—in fact, you could argue that the band exists mainly as a set of illustrations that enable music.
But the centrality of album design to the process of making pop music has diminished considerably over the years. The reasons are simple enough. As the LP gave way to other formats, first the cassette and then the CD, the canvas available to visual artists shrank. The CD was especially ruinous to visual creativity. Longboxes, the cardboard sleeves in which discs were initially packaged—in part to allow retailers to reuse the same bins in which they had stocked LPs—were dismissed as environmentally unfriendly and phased out by the early nineties. The jewel boxes that replaced them had unfriendly clear plastic covers that came from assembly lines and tabs that made it difficult to remove liner-note booklets. And the more recent move from physical products into the entirely virtual world of downloads has driven an additional, final nail into the coffin of cover art, both by deëmphasizing the album in favor of singles and by reviving the need for simple portraiture: in an online retail environment, where display space is often postage-stamp-size, what’s often most important is to simply show the face of the artist. There are always exceptions—Phoenix’s “Bankrupt!,” released this week, has a nicely conceptual cover image of a sliced peach—but they are increasingly uncommon.
Last week was also the celebration of Record Store Day, which was an opportunity for bands to sell bespoke singles and one-off collaborations at higher prices to soft-hearted customers. I have gone on the record as being a skeptic regarding the holiday. But Record Store Day is an opportunity to remember a time when the process of listening to an album was not only aural, but also visual and even physical, and to confirm that such a time is no more. What is the solution? Technology moves these days toward portability and away from physical presence. The notion of being anchored to large square objects, even beautiful ones, seems preposterous. And while there are Web sites like the Album Art Exchange that preserve and share high-quality versions of cover artwork, they feel like they’re holding onto a past that will never again be the future. The worst part about the death of album art is that it’s not even a new death anymore. Music has buried album art and visited its grave regularly for more than a decade. But as other industries face similar evolutions—what will book design look like if and when the transition to e-books proceeds apace?—it’s worth both lamenting the passage of album covers and conceding at the same time that lamenting their passage can seem curmudgeonly, unintelligent, nostalgic, and sad.

29 04 2013

Great ENSEMBLE PEARL review in The Quietus



"And (here comes the slightly grumpy old man bit) no-one will pay that much attention to(Ensemble Pearl) because, well, it's just drone guys doing another drone album, and it's not a real talking point LP made by an arty synth pop duo who aren't shy of talking critical theory and entitlement politics. It's just a shame, that's all, because it doesn't matter what kind of music you put 'Giant' next to, it remains quite literally sublime – i.e. it creates a stirring sense of awe and fear in the listener, by creating an abstract representation of a facet of nature that we are right to be humbled by and terrified of: giant oceanic waves." —John "Menk" Doran

27 04 2013

Long Hair


Another great relic from the '50s.

Unfortunately, public protest is much more complex and convoluted these days.

22 04 2013

SUNN O))) now available on bandcamp!









ATTENTION: every SUNN O))) release is now avalaible as high quality download (free previews, including ltd/rare tracks) 

 Thank you very much for your support!

22 04 2013

GRAVETEMPLE photo Diksmuide, Belgium 16th April 2013



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