Boris - Vein
I am currently very much into Boris, another one of those groups who seem to shit (or should that be vomit) records. As usual with this trio there are more versions of this record (Southern Lord even put out a special low frequency version of one of their records). There is an hardcore version (the so-called 'crust' version) and a slow/drone version. I have only heard the hardcore version and when I put it on I first thought I had mistakenly put something on by Merzbow (with whom they frequently collaborate by the way), so fuzzy and noisy is the attack. Saying that it gets more accessible further on would be a lie. This is as hardcore as it gets, with undecipherable Japanse lyrics to go with it. If you got something to drive out of your system and there is no booze around, go with Vein. The original raw shit.
Jegor Teplov - LAC
Do not know who Jegor Teplov is but I know Sleeparchive collaborated with him on this first release on the Stamp label. It actually sounds like a German version of dubstep, that is, dark, misty and technoish at the same time. Always nice to hear the bonds between minimal techno and dubstep being strengthened. Hopefully more to follow.
Battles - Atlas
This is the one with the funny-sounding vocals. Hate it or love it. More instantly loveable is DJ Koze's remix, who does not leave that much of the original intact but does a fine job anyway, especially because he shuns the easy let's-make-Kompakt-track-out-of-this-track approach.
Anaal Nathrakh - Eschaton
Ok, this is death metal, but there are also some pretty great melodies on this one. As Martijn put it once: Deep down there is something beautiful in Anaal Nathrakh. But you got to dig deeper than a title like 'Between Shit and Piss We Are Born' (which I actually think is a pretty strong title, but do not mind me). Hellish and brutal power to the max.
CoH - Patherns
How have I gone so many years without CoH. Every record I have heard until now by this Russian is great. It would be perhaps best to describe his music as subtly menacing electronics, leaving him somewhere between the Kraftwerk obssession of Dopplereffekt and the brooding soundscapes of the later Coil. On Raster-Noton and not completely anal, faut-le faire.
Fantastic Ego - Trips the Light
On Foxy Digitalis this was described as having leanings with Current 93, but in my opinion it has absolutely nothing to do with that quadrant of psychfolk. I am tending more to link it with the unholy mothergrooves of Belgium's Silvester Anfang. Considering the fact that that last reference is merely a hunch, I cannot possibly give Fantastic Ego a greater compliment than by saying his sound is pretty unique in the current all things freaky and folky climate.
Fursaxa - Alone in the Dark Wood
Most of the time I find Fursaxa, although she is always making very beautiful music, lacking spunk. She is always floating somewhere above the witches circle in the deep forest. But this one is her finest piece to date. I will probably not amuse her by comparing this to the better parts of the early Dead Can Dance discography, but that was the feeling it evoked. Anyway, for the first time I was totally involved into her music.
Library Tapes - Feelings for Something Lost
This is probably one of the most beautiful records I have ever heard. Consisting mostly of piano loops mixed up with gently creaking noise it is so much more than the sum of those parts. It sounds as if someone invaded an old derelict house, one of those places where you can hear the wind blowing through the age-old cracks, stumbled onto a dirty old creaky piano and decided to record an album on the spot with one of those old portable cassette recorders. In the league of Basinski's Disintegration Loops, and the cognoscenti will know that this is one hell of a compliment.
Holy Modal Rounders - 1&2
Never heard anything before by these folkies and it was a pleasure. Very simple bluegrass, country and folk ditties brought with the most basic means. Honest music - never thought I would ever use those two words next to one another - without pretense or pose.
Coil - The Remote Viewer
In 2030 people will still be wandering through the Coil backcatalogue and discovering masterpieces. This one was rereleased with two bonus tracks a few months ago and it defies description. But try to imagine bagpipes, hurdy gurdy and electronic beats in one song, add some early Tangerine Dream kosmische vibes, a tad of Material's 'Mantra', a spoonful of haunting emotions and you are not even halfway there. The effect alltogether is like watching Borges' City of the Immortals rising up from the steaming desert. Massive! Masterful! Genius!