MoRkObOt – GoRgO

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I’d like to claim to have some kind of process when it comes to deciding what I’m going to write about. That I have my ear to the ground at all times, waiting for just the right vibration to come my way that demands to be captured in 7/800 words of pithy criticism. That I’m Captain Zeitgeist, a lightning rod for what’s Important in 2016 that channels the electricity of the Now directly down into vital content for the masses.

In reality I just look around every now and again and think something like, “hey look – an entirely baffling twin bass wielding Italian metal trio! I should review that for a handful of interested weirdos!”

It’s not much but it keeps me entertained.

Review over at Echoes & Dust.

Melting Hand – High Collider

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I’ve been a little obsessed with Mike Vest’s guitar tone this year. Ever since I got hooked on Haikai No Ku’s Temporary Infinity I’ve been rinsing his work in Blown Out and as Lush Worker and Basillica. It just sounds so strange and alien – I’ve invented an origin story for it involving Mike stealing it from a distant civilisation from across the stars. And god help us all when they come to take it back.

Terminal Cheesecake, on the other hand, I must confess to not being familiar with until recently. Sometime a band resurfaces after years in the wilderness with everyone hailing them as returning legends and I’m left scratching my head wondering if they’d somehow been retconned into musical history by time travelling trolls determined to make me feel silly. But having dug into their back catalogue it seems they’re worthy of the title.

So a collaboration between Vest and the Cheesecake’s Russel Smith obviously piqued my interest. Echoes & Dust had an exclusive stream lined up and needed some words. Both the stream and those words can be found here.

 

Wanton Playlistery – 2016: Q2

It’s been a bit quiet here on Wanton Dilettantery over the past 2 months. It turns out buying and moving into a new house is really quite time consuming/insanely stressful. Who knew? But while I haven’t had much time to vainly fling words at music I have still found the time to fulfill my sworn duty to produce a 25 track playlist every 3 months. Some things are too important to let trifling things such as decorating or buying furniture get in the the way.

This year seems to already be a vintage one in terms of quieter sounds – sad pieces that take their cues from post- rock, modern classical and ambient/ drone. Kristoffer Lo’s The Black Meat might just be my pick of the bunch so far, not least for it’s great backstory – it was recorded in a disused lighthouse at the southernmost point of Norway. It has the desolate sounds to match – at 10 quiet minutes it might not seem like an obvious choice to start a playlist but good lord does it earn it. Elsewhere Dag Rosenquist’s exquisite static, Western Skies Motel’s sparse, fragmented take on American Primitivism, Christina Ott’s spacefaring neo-classical and Ben Lukas Boysen’s piano led ambience flying the flag for the quiet and the delicate. And with records from the likes of Ian William Craig and Eluvium still to come it’s really a special time for Team Quiet.

Which is not to say there isn’t anything interesting going on in Team Loud. It might not quite be as spectacular a time for the riff hungry but Bossk’s leftfield shift from post-metal to post-everything on Audio Noir has probably been the years highest point for me. It’s a record that demands to be heard as a whole but I’ve slipped Kobe in here as it’s just too good to leave out. Big Business have made a welcome return with Command Your Weather (which I just reviewed for Echoes & Dust) and sound as fantastic as ever, whilst Welsh 2 piece VAILS dropped a second ep of meaty, gravel voiced riffy brilliance. Cobalt have made an unlikely return after losing their vocalist and whilst for my money Slow Forever could do with some serious editing it’s still an undeniably powerful listen. Kvelertak’s third album has proved divisive, as has Gojira’s latest, but both are bright and celebratory in their way and have both seen a lot of action on my stereo, even if neither are likely to rank as their very best work.

In weirder heavy sounds Japan’s Otoboke Beaver have been getting a lot of love round Chez Dilettantery (note to self: never call it that again) with their effervescant blend of punk, harcore, noise and bubblegum pop. WRONG are basically and Unsane/Helmet tribute act but that’s a sound that will never get old to me, whereas Head Wound City feature guys from Blood Brothers and sound a lot like Blood Brothers. This is A Good Thing. Then there’s Menimals. I’ve no idea what the deal is with Menimals, but I think I like it.

To file under consistently great people doing consistently great things; Marrisa Nadler, Spencer Krug’s Moonface  and Aesop Rock, all of whom are releasing effortlessly wonderful music that could easily be taken for granted. Moonface’s latest isn’t their best but I’m a sucker for Krug’s weird theater school preciousness and pretentiousness (who couldn’t fall in love with a line like,”I know that my behaviour is partly why you turned into a blade of grass“?). Whereas Aesop Rock followed up a career best record with an arguably even better one. The man can do no wrong in my eyes. Less expected was Dälek returning sans producer Oktopus yet sounding as potent as ever with Asphalt for Eden, a record every bit as vital as their best work in their first incarnation. Ok, maybe not quite as vital as Absence. But then almost nothing is.

It’s a good time for music fans, if not for human beings in general, what with the world at large seems to basically be on fire and careening towards a cliff face. if it’s any consolation (as it surely must be) now that I’m settling into my new home semi-regular service, such as it is, will resume shortly. Starting with some closure on Kenzo Kelly’s War Diaries sometime next week. Stay tuned.