If you ask people my age what music first really opened their mind, many of them would say funk – it was our gateway to punk. P-Funk Parliament-Funkadelic created a universe that molded our minds into young weirdos. After seeing George Clinton and his band of freaks perform in outlandish costumes, how the Sex Pistols looked was almost normal. Musically, funk was all about self-expression, just like the early punk scene in both England and the States. The P-Funk all stars did not give a fuck, and created a dance beat that would had you under their spell. You could hear the influence of the bouncy, rolling baselines of Funk in early Post Punk and certain 80′s hardcore bands. There would not have been the Gang of Four, Talking Heads, Bush Tetras, PYLON, ESG, Maximum Joy, Glaxo Babies, Minutemen, Big Boys, PIL and many more without this influence. Not all of these bands had a political message, but many of them did, which sounded cool against their driving back beats. So part of Post Punk’s foundation can be found in in the words of Mr Clinton – free your ass and your mind will follow! Today we celebrate the Funk // Post Punk connection with a huge video essay that will tell the story better than my words ever could…Part 2 of this story coming soon: Post Punk and the Dub connection!
Boxes are made for different things, but not to hold anyone’s creative spirit – at least this is how I feel! BURNT BOOKS are the kind of band that puts their passion for making the music they love first. The end result is epicly weird angular punk, seething with conviction. Their recently released self-titled album is out now on At A Loss Recordings, and it is the shit. Right now I want to point out that BURNT BOOKS have a new video out for their song “In A Shallow Grave” directed by Warthen Media. Check out their new visual plus their tour dates for a mini tour that starts today!
Stepping back into the fray, to quicken the pulse in anticipation of Austin’s yearly audio horde, I thought I’d pick things up this week. Regardless of your fork-tongued tastes, there is always something of note going on at SXSW, and metal is most certainly an epic part of this. So, while last week, I brought you the most sickeningly slow quagmire of sludge, this installment features a blistering attack of frantic chaos.
I remember the first time I saw Landmine Marathon. I was booking shows at the amazing, yet short lived, Warehouse Next Door, in Washington, DC, and a friend asked if he could set up a show for a band he had seen on the road. He promised that they were a hyper-intense slab of un-forgiving metal. I said yes, but didn’t pay too much attention to the details. Needless to say, when Landmine Marathon fired up their motor, it was like being trapped in the lawnmower scene from Dead Alive. I immediately bought the vinyl, and must have listened to “Crisscross Thoughts” an infinite number of times.”Stoked” would be putting it mildly, to describe my feelings about seeing them again, several years later, at that same said Brooklyn Vegan show mentioned in my last post.
Honestly I haven’t been completely on top of the Canadian music scene as much as I should’ve been this year. I was far more busy by the tail end and just couldn’t catch up. Still I caught some very enjoyable releases swirling around our great white north throughout the year.
In general the black and death metal scene here (especially underground) is churning out some interesting releases on all areas of the spectrum, heavy hitters split between coasts with the interior even bringing a few offerings. Skagos whispered their progress and Revenge howled for the first time within their homeland. The second Messe des Morts took place and Thantifaxath alongside Sortilegia and Sylvus unleashed new material on the stage there. Cryptopsy gained some credibility with the return of Levasseur and a new record.
The hardcore and sludge scenes were alive as well, especially in Toronto where Mare was resurrected for several reunion shows; a dream come true. The Not Dead Yet festival tore downtown up for a few days with legends and rising Canadian locals (including Column of Heaven), Sound Asleep rose and demolished a select few venues, Titan and Vilipend unleashed their debut records (as did Burning Love) in the wake of some big tours. Godspeed You! Black Emperor surprised everyone with a new record — one that included some long-improvised-live material. At least this was a little of what I experienced this year. I’m sure I overlooked some important things.
I think overall last year was stronger. 2012 had some nice shit though especially in death metal (as usual), and the following six releases are at the top. Apologies for the lack of diversity.
There is an illegal hunt taking place this winter in B.C. on the wolf population that needs to be protested and notified vehemently to game officers and wildlife control to stop it. This, coinciding with a plethora of other problems, like the attempts to bring tar sands across from Alberta on a massive 4 billion dollar pipeline, and damage the native ecosystem in the process, as well as the unfair rights for native indigenous people living in the coastal areas is only part of the grand picture. These issues are archetypes of the greed, corporate gain, industrialization, and destructive ethical values of the scum of the earth who support them. This wolf kill “contest” is only a recent manifestation of a trophy hunt. Ever since one pestiferous book proclaimed that we have dominion over animals and the natural world, and since killing our sentient ancestors became a sport! This is not the way of a truly evolved and civilized world we should be.
The contest is sponsored by some of the most unworthy displays of human existence on earth, gun shops, hunting clubs, and trophy taxidermy offices. Anyone with a gaming license is able to register, and offered money prizes for shooting the wolves, determined by size. This had already started but, is going on until the end of March.
From the contest poster
“1st place is guaranteed $1000 plus 40% of the entry prize pool.
2nd place is guaranteed $500 plus 30% of the entry prize pool.
3rd place is guaranteed $350 plus 10% of the entry prize pool.
4th place is guaranteed $250 plus 10% of the entry prize pool.
Last place is guaranteed $150 plus 10% of the entry prize pool.——-(Smallest wolf) Note: Ties will be decided by length alone and if there is still a tie, then a coin toss. (entry prize pool is based on $50 per person entry fee)
Other Prizes Every wolf entered in the contest will get you entered for a chance to win a 243 Weatherby rifle from Backcountry, or a free wolf tanning from T&C Taxidermy. or a $200 gift certificate to Backcountry donated by the NP Rod and Gun club.
There is still time to write, and all opinions matter. When government officials are overwhelmed with letters and emails or sense true meaning behind your words, whether you are an acitivist, normal citizen, native, elderly, youth, biologist, scientist, etc. they are more prone to be influenced by these legal civil disobedience. These are some of the persons that can be written to (source from Pacific Wild) READ MORE…
Before we go any further, we have to address a few things about Von. The Misfits of black metal, Von have become more of a franchise than a band. With a line-up that requires you to dig your way through a genealogy of the band to figure out who the hell recorded this record, many will simply dismiss Satanic Blood as a cheap cash-in on a classic name. Go ahead. Honestly, how can anyone objectively listen to the first full length of a band who split up 20 years ago and not wonder what the hell was going on throughout the recording process?
However, let us focus on the music for a while, devoid of context.
What do we end up with?
About as classic sounding of a black metal record as you can hope to hear in 2012. Reverb drenched and layered with hypnotic riffing, Satanic Blood is old school in a way that many will find downright archaic. At nineteen songs averaging about two and a half minutes in length, Satanic Blood is a journey from the earliest recordings (redone here) to new material, such as the opener, “Jesus Stain”. The template for this record as a whole, “Jesus Stain” opens with manic riffing, gruff, reverb laden vocals, and simplistic drumming that moves the song forward at a breakneck pace. As we weave through songs like “Devil Pig”, “Veadtuck”, and “Goat Christ” this pattern rarely changes. There are points where the song breaks, such as the middle of “Dissection InHuman” which devolves into an eerie, clamorous soundscape with near spoken word vocals, or the end of “Blood Von” which dissolves into sparse riffing before fading into silence. These points serve as respites from the frenetic riffing that drives most of this record. It’s the sheer violence of Von’s sound that will leave most of us exhausted before we even pass the midpoint. What was once a vital sound becomes numbing as you pass through nearly twenty tracks. However, for fans of the bestial sound early 90′s black metal, Satanic Blood will be a welcome return of the old school
Noise noise + raw punk + death rock d-beat grooves = just a part of what makes Austin’s KURRAKA so fucking sick. Their four song demo has been getting constant spins since I first heard it. What gets me so hyped is their use of caustic melody that has different layers of angst, from early 80′s punk to Post Punk. Some of the drumming you will find on this demo will have the dead dancing in their graves. Then there is the vocal delivery, which is urgent and alarming! On songs like “RAAH” the band do even more off-kilter stuff that draws me further into their world. I guess if I had to pinpoint their sound, I would call it native d-beat with African-inspired raw punk on some epic call and response shit! I do want something from KURRAKA – I want them to do a full album so I can play more than just four songs. If any bloggers or writers are reading this, make sure to spread the word. KURRAKA is a band that has originality flowing through every note that they create, and I really hope the world gets to hear more from this band. You can pick up their demo HERE and peep the two songs we are streaming below!
“From the mountains — Where storms are born — The wind blows — Cold and ruthless —Before that — All tremble”
The above passage was written in Lithuanian, in a silver-wax sealed letter on a cardboard slip accompanied with a handmade key. It was a precursor to something slowly approaching.
Over a year ago I chipped in to a kickstarter project for an ambitious album from a secluded and frostbitten musical entity. The promising album and the handmade wooden boxset packed with merchandise (Beyond Victory edition) was something I was highly anticipating. A lot of dedication and thought was put into this project, both the music and the packaging.
And finally a few weeks ago (nearly a month after the above mentioned letter arrived) the ancient box, secured with a heavy lock, arrived with something equally primeval laid down on vinyl residing within, emanating sounds hidden deep within forested, snow-capped mountains echoing times when the surrounding landscape was untouched by modernity.
This project was undertaken by Velnias, a five piece black metal group from Colorado who have slowly been building their catalog since 2007 — showcasing a fairly unique doomy atmospheric black metal with folk influences.
Italy’s Dystopian Society, like Germany’s Tanzkommando Untergang, employ imagery and use a name that might make one think they were a political thrash band. But — wait just a minute! Although the band do have a strong sense of political ethics, they’re like New Model Army and Rubella Ballet in that they couple social observations with a compellingly gloomy postpunk sound.
They will be playing along with The Mob and UK Decay at this year’s Drop Dead Fest, on November 3rd, in Berlin, Germany. (Info below.)
Dystopian Society’s new LP, Cages, is much in line with this. It is basically a political deathrock LP — if such a thing could be permitted to exist under the heavens — much like Christ vs Warhol’s excellent Dissent LP married the sounds of postpunk and deathrock with astute political observations, including an anti-Tea Party song in the latter’s case!
Dystopian Society were originally interviewed by Oliver in May, 2012.
I recently had the pleasure of speaking with Martin Sorrondeguy on the phone from his family’s home in Chicago’s Pilsen neighborhood. Martin politely agreed to let me interview him for Cvlt Nation and greeted me warmly over the phone as I interrupted some of his time from making chimichurri with his mom.
For many within the punk/hardcore community, Martin needs little introduction as his involvement in the scene has left a tremendous impact. Martin’s most visible involvement in punk has come through fronting hardcore bands like Los Crudos and Limp Wrist and through forming DIY record label Lengua Armada Discos; which throughout the years has served as a powerful venue for supporting and exposing Latino punk/hardcore bands.
Aside from his involvement with Los Crudos, Limp Wrist, N.N., Needles, and Lengua Armada, Martin has stayed active within the punk community through regularly contributing to Maximum Rocknroll, creating documentary films like Mas Alla de los Gritos: A U.S. Latino Hardcore Punk Documentary, and authoring a new book on punk/hardcore.
During our conversation, Martin and I talked about various topics, including: his upcoming book called Get Shot (pre-order the book here), what it was like playing in Latin America, a brief family history, the upcoming Los Crudos vinyl discography, and even his involvement in the early hip-hop scene as a B-Boy.
With that said, I was very happy to interview Martin. Now read the interview and let one of punk’s smartest and most creative minds impart some knowledge on you!