Earth Angels of Darkness, Demons of Light I (Southern Lord) 2LP - The first of two proposed Earth albums in '11 offers dusted gnostic space blues from Dylan Carlson and company, and is likely the deepest, most hypnotic Earth record to date. It's a literary trip through the dark spaces where every drum strike, cello trill (courtesy of the same player that backed Nirvana during their Unplugged performance) and carefully placed guitar note bleeds with a foreboding resonance across the ages. The 180 g vinyl version (mine was pressed on red and features an awesome etching on side D) is a sheer delight on every level.
The Body Anthology (Corleone) CD - Over the last 8 years this Providence duo has released a handful of CD-Rs, splits and such -- all compiled here. More lo-fi and gnarled than the exultant/wretched All the Waters of the Earth Shall Turn to Blood, Anthology is 16 tracks of destroyed apocalypse doom, hardcore sludge and power electronics with shrieking witch howl vokills. Includes five covers by the likes of Danzig, Crass, Judas Priest and Sinead O'Connor(?).
Aaron Dilloway Lip Syncing To Verme (Hundebiss) LP - Excellent package from this Italian label of what's easily the most satisfying Dilloway solo platter I've heard to date (not that I've heard many); the weird tape music and found sound post industrial collages displayed across these five tracks are simultaneously spine tingling, hallucinogenic, mind bending, never boring. A triumph of experimental sound sculpture top to bottom.
Umberto Prophecy of the Black Widow (Not Not Fun) LP - Amazing record of scifi synth splay and soundtrack music by a fellow named Matt Hill aka Umberto. It's safe to say he's obsessed over the music of Goblin and Fabio Frizzi with endless fascination while throwing in a few German progressive moves to keep it stoned to the bone. One of the finest synthscape soundtrack records I've heard all year.
The Oh Sees Castlemania (In The Red) CD - Probably should'a got the vinyl on this one as it also comes with a wicked etching on the 4th side, but can't have 'em all. This is a KILLER slice of psych punk folk what's-it that delivers hit after hit of garage fuzz plop delights with amazing titles like "I Need Seed", "Pleasure Blimps", "Spider Cider" and so on.
Puffy Areolas / Purling Hiss "My Hell" / "Walking Down the Street" (Permanent Records) 12" Single - This is one of them hot-shit Record Store Day releases. Ty Segal's Ty.Rex was another, and of course Big Star's infamous Third, etc and so on. So while the wax may be impossible to find, that in no way diminishes the fact that it features two of my favorite modern psych slop groops, each offering up two ripping epics to the old gods that kick ass and melt face. Got to give the Golden Gloves to Purling Hiss, though, with the righteous Stooges worship of "Walking Down the Street".
TV Ghost Mass Dream (In The Red) LP - Another excellent splatter from ITR. Mass Dream is equal parts art punk slop and no wave surf. Warbling Pere Ubu vox and lashing through the smokey darkness distortion are the order of the day across ten unhinged ragers that run the gamut from the deathly dirge of the destroyed squall of "The Inheritors" to the angular garage surf riffage of "The Degredation of Film". The mood throughout is fucked and caustic, but I still can't help but shimmy my ass off through every second of its 35 mins.
The Flaming Lips with Prefuse 73 The Flaming Lips with Prefuse 73 (Warner Bros./Lovely Sorts of Death) 12" EP - Heavy wax on many colored vinyl. No two are the same. Limited to 2000, so it's already gone. I was shocked by how much I liked the 'Lips' collaboration with Neon Indian, and this is even better as Wayne and Steve's synthonic art pop gets dosed in Prefuse 73's electro noise hop to conjure drill 'n' bass Suicide homages, acid muzakscapes and spaced out glam folk oddities. Mighty weird Oklahoma disco right here.
Religious Knives Smokescreen (Sacred Bones) LP - So nice to see this quartet back in action. New drummer, but not much else has changed (thankfully). The vibe is still about simple, repetitious trance riffs built around guitar and organ and hammered into your brain with slamming percussion and bass beneath echo drenched vocals that invoke a hostile dread in the classic New York watch-your-back vein. Zoned fuzz smokestacks from the paranoid basement.
Rene Hell The Terminal Symphony (Type) CD - Seemingly scattered electronic sound sculpture is actually a careful assemblage of quasi-symphonic rhythms, noise and strings across ten compact journeys through glitchtronic psychedelia. Top picks: the bubbling Kraftwerkian "E.S. Des Grauens In Fifths", the synthedelic chamber bleeping "Baroque Ensemble Coda", the fragile crystal chandeliers of "Juliard Op. 66". More fun than Switched-On Bach, and a whole lot more stoned.
Various Artists Pacific Support (Draft) CS - Another excellent comp to benefit the victims of the tsunami in Japan that rivals Thrill Jockey's Benefit for the Recovery in Japan in terms of quality (if not quantity). Some of the same names on said comp appear here (Greg Davis, Keith Fullerton Whitman) along with Rene Hell, The North Sea, Carl Calm, Flower Man (CC and FM are solo projects related to Caboladies), Golden Retriever, Make a New Memory and so on across what amounts to a more electrocentric journey through bubbling ambient space, minimal drone wormholes and quantum sonic mechanics.