Three of our friends have sent us their favourite albums of 2019, enjoy!
Ur:Vaald (Sacra Geometria, Tohu, Jacqueline, Rebel Lands, Wand. and Princess)
So bizarre and yet, uniquely majestic, had this year been! What follows, is a list of my fave
inspirations, that have seen the light of Lucifer, during the period of this calendar year. Salutes, are in order:
1) Tergum Ambulare – “Sanguinis Obscurum” (Black Gangrene Productions):
Yet another gem, coming from the soils of Bosnia/Herzegovina. Said country’s black metal/black ambient scene seems to be on an almost constant rise, in recent years. This is a newcomer, a one – man act, that literally came out of nowhere. Delivering an exquisite stab, of psychotropic, emotional black art. Dungeon stench, trebling sound, spacial synths and a galore of oppressing riffs and rhythms, create an aura of dementia. Liberating, to say the least.
2) Γεμάτος Αράχνες, ρε Φίλε! – “Γεμάτος Αράχνες!” (Είσοδος Κινδύνου): Yet another band that Pierre has graced with his presence – appearing as Black Punk Synth Tουμουλτ, this time around! An urban, expressionistic view of this age, appears within. Lines and beats entwined, in an amalgam of frenzied adoration. Like a haunted walk, taking place in an unnamed, metropolitan environment. Remedies of a beaten world, celebrating its defeat.
3) Äsping – “Lion of Pireaus”(AnnapurnA): A well placed collaboration, dwelling in unknown, yet spectacular, paths and passages. Conceived as a triangle of all sorts, melting together energies spawned forth by Michael Idehall and Yannis K. (of Serpent Noir fame), joined thoroughly by Asa Nordgren’s aura and presence. Her voice is a key element to this eclectic, psychedelic blend. That ultimately fuses industrial and ambient elements, along with guitar work that comes off as a mantra. A rewarding necessity, this record is.
4) Atrium Malum – “Spirale Démentielle “(Asylum Tenebris): Hideous scars, crawling out of a gray spectrum. Or perhaps, sacred hymns, composed in favor of an ancient, distorted deity? This recording’s essence, lies among the voices heard. Voices that lead to a palace of nothingness. A well reversed tribute to the LLN times, which is more than welcome, at this moment, especially.
5) Dödfödd – “Stigma” (AnnapurnA): No need to mention that Atum is one of the most interesting figures, that have come off Sweden’s orthodox circles. Apart from his work with the mighty Reverorum Ib Malacht, he is the sole force behind this formation. Whom had actually began as a dsbm band, back in 2003! His evolution through all these times, led to this monumental release. Which is a collection of stigmas, indeed. Carved wounds and turmoil vocals, wrapped in the sequence of pounding drums. Now, not many can perhaps cope with these elements, vibrating as a whole “song”, whose duration stretches over 45 minutes. Of intended bliss. Yet, those who manage to descend into it, will involve themselves in a rather apocalyptic pleasure. Well done? Much more than that, may I add!
6) Internazionale – “Avatar In Life” (Posh Isolation): A pastel of brightly glowing radiance. Building upon the seeds that had already been a part of this project’s paraphernalia. So distinct – so serene. In fact, this could lead back to “Geogaddi”, somehow. But, again, could step forward, in a valley of forgotten dreams. Amnesia could herein be perceived as a gift. Of great and grand proportions, should I not forget to state. Summing this up: a warm induced haze, that tempers the soul, using velveteen ingredients.
7) Vestibulum Vacuüi/Mental Decay – “s/t” (The Throat): The Throat has been delivering all kinds of excellence, through these past years. And this one is among them, for sure. A split release of sickened ambient, balancing in between a guitar – driven direction, that takes place in the first half of this split. And a synth – based approach, that occupies the later half of this cassette. Both work marvelously, together. The first one deserves an honorary mention though, since its ghastly valor, literally resembled those muddy, ill – fated states of mind. That once were explored by like- minded travelers, back in the nineties. Twisted autonomy and fog, envisioned.
8) Phezulu – “Oslobođenje za zatočene” (The Throat): Croatia’s antifascist black circle had been a greatly welcomed movement, as far as my saying goes. Phezulu’s first tape had been a courageous and fuzzy black/death attempt, raising high the anarchist principles: anti-fascism, an active stance against homophobia and even a song against hunters, to top this all. This time though, what they chose to present is a 21 minute track, that focuses on a doom approach, without going beyond of the death/black metal boundaries, though. Initially, I was a bit disappointed, since that seemed a bit of a let – down, when compared to their previous one. But, after repeated listens, this track synchronized its qualities with my perceptions. Coming to the point where I can honestly declare that this is equally strong, as their debut. Best rabm of this year, if you ask me.
9) Lipitoare/Enshroud- “Split” (Black Gangrene Productions): A joint effort, of two distinctive entities, observing – and transmitting, from – the Underworld. Moving backwards, Enshroud’s strikingly depressive black mourns, are more than convincing enough. Bringing to mind the finest examples that this genre had previously exposed, onwards. At this point, though, nothing seems capable of comparing to Lipitoare’s disgust: coming off as a mixture of Ildjarn, Dapnom and Wold, all in one! Their side is a testament to the lucid cacophony of the inner dominion. So shockingly sober – so infinitely alienating.
10) Οδυσσέας Τζιρίτας – “Butterflies” (self – released): A lovely surprise, that was/is! While initially focusing on creating an indie pop celebration, this artist manages to hold a variety of presents, among his grasp. Never betraying his genre of choice, yet always fulfilling his compositions with a series of unexpected anachronisms. Borrowing from jazz terrains, moving on to rhythmic seizures and adorable guitar phrases, Odysseas delivers an awesome album. This gets even more intense, if one takes into count that he is still in his teens. A breathtakingly ambitious work, “Butterflies” easily, is.
11) Nameless Void – “Where Stars Forever Die” (Xenoglossy Productions/Grey Matter Productions): On this age, many have tried to move along the thick boundaries that form the gates, beyond which, certain darker aspects of the sonic spectrum lie. Few have proven worthy of exploring these paths, while many had simply failed. This one belongs to the first category, as one can gladly testify, upon listening to this tape. A fusion of dark ambient, devoid outsider black metal and enormously carved drones, is what lies within this effort. A blending so exquisite, that left me speechless, almost. Modular void transmissions, resembling the state of Pralaya – or Tohu Wa Bohu, should you prefer.
1 Analog Fluids of Sonic Black Holes – Moor Mother (Don Giovanni) From Columbus to South Africa, from Philly to Chicago, and all over the world, this is the soundtrack of the new dark age by poet, activist, and musician Camae Ayewa, establishing herself as a major force in modern music.
2. There Existed An Addiction to Blood – Clipping (Sup Pop)
Hip hop as we like it, filthy and industrial. Nothing is safe anymore…
3. Coin Coin Chapter Four – Matana Roberts (Constellation)
Jazz, blues and folk tradition blend with some improvisational moments, personal memories, and American history, and mature like a good old wine.
4. Wrecked – Zonal (Relapse)
Ex-Techno Animal duo Justin Broadrick and Kevin Martin reinvent themselves as Zonal to produce their newest mix of industrial beats, drones, and noise with some help from the indispensable Moor Mother.
5. I Was Real – 75 Dollar Bill (Glitterbeat)
Instrumentals, ragas, Tuareg rhythms and minimalistic percussion by this improbable duo, enhanced with friends for this project to an ecstatic effect.
6. God Is Not A Terrorist – Ustad Saami (Glitterbeat)
A divine, full-range voice of wisdom and compassion that comes from the ancient times, the last heir of a long and decaying tradition.
7. Fly or Die II: Bird Dogs of Paradise – Jaimie Branch (International Anthem)
Branch has got the guts, not only with her distinctive, dynamic, and simultaneously melodic trumpet lines, but this time with her rocking vocals as well.
8. Active Listening: Night On Earth – Empath (Get Better)
Girls and boys that bring a few fresh ideas, and quirky sounds to an ingenious mix of pop and punk songs for the teens of the new millennium.
9. Respires – Ka Baird (RVNG Intl.)
Initially may sound like obsolete electronica, but Baird’s combination of processed minimalistic flute and voice yields a mesmerizing and hypnotic music bliss.
10. The Sacrificial Code – Kali Malone (iDEAL Recordings)
American-born, Sweden-based Malone is the newest and perhaps most promising addition to a string of female artists who express themselves through the church organ for extended, sublime, and ritualistic drones.
1. Hildur Guðnadóttir – Chernobyl (Music From The HBO Miniseries)
Not only i enjoyed the series but i also adored Hildur’s auditory nightmare compositions which was released on Deutsche Grammophon.
2. Pharmakon – Devour Once again on Sacred Bones, Margaret delivers a haunting release where tracks flow with elegance into one another.
3. Espectra Negra – Tales of chaos Debut release for Vero Mota on IOD, was a huge surprise for me, can’t wait for her upcoming projects!
4.Millions of dead tourists – Helicoide MODT is one of my most favourite greek experimental projects. Bass guitar, sequencer, pedal effects are used to provide an uncommon journey into electronic music with a twist of techno.
5. Years of denial – Suicide Disco Discovered this duo in 2019 accidentally on a fb group and fell in love with them instantly. This time on VEYL, acid body music, before you die dance your pain away.
6.Deathprod – Occulting disk Long awaited album by norwegian composer Helge Sten is a true masterpiece! Couldn’t expect something less than this! For those who don’t know you should also check his project Minibus Pimps with John Paul Jones.
7. Through the lies of Mr. Nasotti – Hyperlacrimae Another surprise for me, this time released on Infidel Bodies from Italy (a very promising label imho). If you are weird, dirty, perverted and like electro-industrial mixed with ebm you are going to love it!
8. V.A. Guts, tedons & hemps (Phormix Tapes) Curated by Morah, this compilation unveils a no future viewpoint with distortions combined with fret!
9. Kris Baha – Palais Kristian Bahoudian presents his work on CockTail d’Amore Music, exploring sounds that combine techno house and disco elements.
10. V.A. Veronica Moser presents: Neurodiversity fight back!
Last, i will include a compilation in which i was the curator. Experimental sounds, from dark ambient to harsh noise made mostly by new artists from Greece and released on an italian diy label called Ho Gravi Malattie!!