CVLT Nation’s Top 10 Avant Garde Releases of 2018
ONE: BARST The Endeavour
If I could listen to one record all year it would be the soon to be released LP by BARST entitled THE ENDEAVOR that comes out on May 18th via Consouling Sounds. I have not heard a record this year that packs the transformative energy that these collection of songs pack!
TWO: HIDE CASTRATION ANXIETY
The Chicago based industrial duo HIDE were formed in 2014, and have since released a series of excellent EPs and singles, building up towards their debut album, Castration Anxiety. Comprising of visual artist Heather Gabel and percussionist Seth Sher, the sonic territories that HIDE explore are diverse. Structuring their sound around the darker side of industrial music, they also take a fair amount of inspiration from electronic music, and its experimental extensions, as well as an intricate projection of gothic rock aesthetics and deathrock concepts.
THREE: JOE CARDAMONE THE HOLY WAR
So what happens when your homie finds a new way to express himself? The outcome is Holy War by Joe Cardamone that finds him laying down his sleazy voice over cryptic soundscapes that he produced. This sounds like the reason I love L.A. – but also the reason I hate L.A.
FOUR: MIRRORS FOR PSYCHIC WARFARE I See What I Became
Mirrors For Psychic Warfare is the collaboration between Scott Kelly (Neurosis) and Sanford Parker (Buried At Sea), which stemmed from their tenure with experimental industrial project Corrections House. While Corrections House reveled in the extreme, aggressive sound of heavy industrial music, Mirrors For Psychic Warfare performs a deeper dive into the obscure side of the genre through the atmospheric augmentations of dark ambient origin. The band’s debut record saw them successfully stepping away from the pseudo-metal approach of Corrections House and create a work that was built around a ritualistic foundation. Now, the band returns with their sophomore record, I See What I Became, and builds further on their extravagant sound.
FIVE: MISERABLE Loverboy / Dog Days
Kristina Esfandiari is primarily known as the vocalist of the excellent doom act King Woman, where her thunderous vocal performances cut through a thick veil of heavy riffs. However, there is a different side to Esfandiari’s creativity and that is what she partly explores with her side project. With Miserable, Esfandiari presents a more personal and vulnerable viewpoint, which is illustrated through the multiple releases of the project in the Halloween Dream EP and on the band’s sole full-length Uncontrollable. Sargent House now puts together two of Miserable most potent releases in the Dog Days EP (originally released in 2015 and the brand new Loverboy EP.
SIX: SILENT SERVANT Shadows of Death and Desire
Juan Mendez is a very interesting individual in the techno field, who has been involved in recent reinterpretations of the genre. Working under the Silent Servant moniker, Mendez became involved with Sandwell District, a record label and collective of techno DJs and producers. This wave of producers had an extremely positive effect on electronic music, promoting the more expressive, underground fraction of the genre rather than boosting the celebrity centered culture of the ‘00s. Even today, eight years after Sandwell District seized operations, the footprint the label left behind is still visible and it has led to a new, brave generation of producers.
SEVEN: Tårne Spirer Varmblod
I feel like I have been locked in a cold room of nothingness where only my nightmares can move to the frozen rhythms of isolation. These are the kind of thoughts that exist in my reality as I listen to the new Tårne Spirer LP Varmblod.
EIGHT: STATIQBLOOM “Infinite Spectre “
I want to dance as the world ends; I want to dance on the graves of the corrupt leaders of the world as the new Statiqbloom track “Ersatz Gaze” plays in the background!
NINE: NOTHING Dance On The Blacktop
The Philly band NOTHING pressed their way to the forefront of the shoegaze revival with their 2014 album Guilty of Everything. They brought a loud and rough around the edges grunge undercurrent to the genre as a needed reminder of bands like Hum and the Catherine Wheel. Some of this edge ebbed on 2016’s Tired of Tomorrow they have brought back the loud wall of sound for Dance on the Blacktop with a fuzzed-out roar of guitar.
TEN: INSECT ARK Marrow Hymns
Insect Ark is my favorite Brooklyn band because they are one of the most unique and thoughtfully constructed acts out there. The number of bands who use a slide guitar in underground music is obviously extremely limited. Toss in all of the experimental noise elements that help make Insect Ark‘s brand of experimental doom so unique; you start to have something truly challenging to wrap your head around. Their newest album, Marrow Hymns is an absolutely stunning record—it’s massive and twisted.
words via Metal Injection