///deek_media


Mogwai – Hardcore Will Never Die, But You Will [2011]

Posted in post-rock by deek on January 1, 2011

Add Mogwai to the list of long-standing indie-rock acts leaping to new labels lately — the Scottish post-rock heroes long associated with Matador Records are offering the cheekily titeld Hardcore Will Never Die, But You Will to the U.S. via Sub Pop. Produced by Paul Savage, who helmed the band’s very first full-length, 1997’s Mogwai Young Team, Mogwai’s seventh album was recorded in Hamilton, near Glasgow, and the limited-edition version features a 26-minute bonus track, “The Singing Mountain,” which was initially recorded for a German art installation. -prefixmag

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Hammock – Longest Year (EP) [2010]

Posted in ambient,post-rock,shoegaze by deek on December 11, 2010

Musically, Hammock is a band that trades in the slightest of nuances. To the impatient, this equates to each of their releases — there are nine total since 2004 — sounding roughly the same: Slow, dense, shadowy and possibly outright boring. Frankly, this music isn’t even meant for most modern, iPod-toting listeners (though, undoubtedly, they could be converted). Rather, as best heard on their most recent LP, Chasing After Shadows… Living With the Ghosts, Hammock (as the name infers) is a band worth taking in as a whole. Their work is experiential, crafted to soundtrack more than mere moments, but entire afternoons spent lost in thought or quaint appreciation for some surrounding beauty. Moreover, its impressionistic enough for you to find your own meaning within — album and song titles are the only words invoked to dictate feeling — but, it can’t be ignored that this music reflects its creators’ sober optimism about the world around them. More specifically, Longest Year sits in between Chasing… and its predecessor, Maybe They Will Sing For Us Tomorrow, a minimalistic “live studio performance” album composed specifically for the overseas debut exhibition of Riceboy Sleeps, the art collaboration of Sigur Rós’ Jónsi Birgisson and Parachutes’ Alex Somers. Like Maybe…, Longest Year is beat-less, its rhythms largely conjured from Slocum’s string performances, though rhythm is a relative concept when discussing ambient music, of course. And, like Chasing…, the EP continues Hammock’s interest in creating moments of swollen immensity that reach massive heights without bowing to the now-tired “Explosions formula”: Loud-quiet-loud-quiet-louder. -Consequence of Sound

Agalloch – Marrow of the Spirit [2010]

Posted in atmospheric black metal,black metal,doom,folk metal,neofolk,post-rock by deek on November 18, 2010

There are enough “two-adjective metal” albums (thanks for that term, John Cobbett) in a year to fill the hall of Odin, or whichever cult iconography serves as its current equivalent. But Marrow of the Spirit is something special. In it, Agalloch has released something thoroughly moving — a force that heals through melancholy. Pre-order Marrow of the Spirit at Profound Lore. It’s hard not be hyperbolic about new Agalloch material. In its 15 years, the Portland, Ore.-based band has released just four full-length albums and a smattering of EPs, each adored by a cult following. Frosted black metal and folk music were the group’s initial touchstones — highly atmospheric, the musical equivalent of fire emerging from fog. But where past albums like Pale Folklore and Ashes Against the Grain felt like woodsy fantasy steeped in elegiac beauty, Marrow of the Spirit reflects the forlorn forest, gnarled and searching. The record even opens with field recordings of a stream, one not unlike the icy waters that grace the front cover. Cellist Jackie Perez Gratz (Grayceon, Asunder, Giant Squid) then sets the tone, somberly allowing those strings to hover above the water. But just as soon as we drift downstream, new Agalloch drummer Aesop Dekker (of San Francisco’s Ludicra) awakens a torrent of furious riffing in “Into the Painted Grey.” We have to fight through these woods, this depression. Dekker’s muscular, punk-fueled percussion soon arrives as the perfect foil to John Haughm’s mournful shrieks and minor-chord epiphanies. At 5:33, after a cathartic pummeling, the song lifts skyward with ascending scales on two electric guitars and an acoustic, then becomes bedded by a descending chord progression and thundering drum fills. It’s a glorious moment. This holistic musical narrative sets Agalloch apart from everyone else. From the few interviews Haughm has given to support Marrow of the Spirit so far, the album seems to be about healing. So think of Haughm and his bandmates as spiritual travelers, rooting through the desolate earth with bare hands, faced with some unbearable truth at the album’s climax: “Black Lake Nidstang.” The 17-minute song tells a story in itself, coming up against a wall of noise, a lonely guitar wail (a la Godspeed You! Black Emperor) and a dramatically paced tympani and acoustic guitar. When Haughm lets out his most devastating howl at 7:22, it’s a throw-your-hands-to-the-heavens moment, a glimpse of humbled knowing. Nate Carson’s (Witch Mountain) droning Moog then takes the body, exhilarated and renewed, and speeds the course to recovery in the surprisingly joyful “Ghosts of the Midwinter Fires,” which owes an effects pedal and a chord progression or two to the Cure’s Disintegration. Marrow of the Spirit is blissfully dense — it uncovers more with each subsequent listen. It closes with more sounds of the stream, but it’s clear in its final moments that the album isn’t done healing just because the music has died down. -npr

Envy – Recitation [2010]

Posted in post-hardcore,post-rock,screamo by deek on October 1, 2010

Japanese noise-monsters Envy are no strangers to the quiet-loud-ear-bleedingly-louder dynamic used by their label bosses Mogwai. In keeping with their post-rock roots, ‘Recitation’ is a tumultuous addition to their previous cerebral offerings. Pummelling screamo chant-cum-divertimento ‘A Breath Clad In Happiness’ and the fury of ‘Rainclouds Running In A Holy Night’ coexist effortlessly with gentle opener ‘Guidance’ and the serenade of ‘A Hint Of The Incapacity’, proving that big bursts of cacophonous bedlam and instrumental sentimentality aren’t mutually exclusive. A brutally romantic record.

Heaven in Her Arms – Paraselene [2010]

Posted in japanese,post-hardcore,post-rock,screamo,sludge by deek on July 23, 2010

[link in comments]

Akarso – Parallel Chlorophyll Regions [1998]

Posted in math rock,post-punk,post-rock,screamo by jheisel on May 4, 2010

Akarso - Parallel Chlorophyll Regions

download

Milwaukee’s Akarso produces heady trig rock that recalls configurations along the lines of Trenchmouth and Drive Like Jehu. The sound is heavy, nervous, and twitchy, with a decided Midwest influence along the lines of Shellac. The band’s intensity is downright unnerving, so you can’t help wondering what kind of coffee these guys have been drinking. Akarso’s rhythms are viciously intricate and powerful, and are nicely complemented by some great wounded, banshee-like vocals. Constantly alternating between precision and power, this band will surprise you again and again.

Sadly, Akarso decided to call it quits in the summer of 1999. Members are now in Call Me Lightning. (last.fm).

Red Sparowes – The Fear is Excruciating, But Therein Lies the Answer [2010]

Posted in experimental,instrumental,post-rock by jheisel on March 17, 2010

Alcest – Écailles de lune [2010]

Posted in atmospheric black metal,dream pop,post-rock,shoegaze by deek on March 9, 2010

download (warning: transcode from 128kbps source)

Formed in 1999 by French black metal multi-instrumentalist Neige (who also worked with Peste Noire, Mortifera, and Amesoeurs), Alcest was originally conceived as a solo project. It would eventually take on the form of a full band as Hegnor (also of Peste Noire) and Arguth joined the fray and released a four-track demo entitled Tristesse Hivernale in 1999. This demo was a more straightforward black metal affair, much different from what would happen next. After that released, Alcest returned to a one-member format, with Neige moving away from the metal overtones of the three-piece and embracing a more atmospheric approach to his work. The 2005 EP release, Le Secret, was more in tune with the project`s ultimate goal, which was to put to ear, as it were, Neige`s fascination with an “otherworld” — of sorts — that had held a fascination for him beginning in his childhood. In 2007, Neige released the first full-length Alcest recording, Souvenirs D`un Autre Monde (Memories of Another World, for those keeping up in English), which was released on Prophecy Productions, and was a critical success. 2007 also saw a split-EP release with Angmar.

Balmorhea – Constellations [2010]

Posted in modern classical,post-rock by deek on February 21, 2010

Fang Island – S/T [2010]

Posted in experimental,indie,indie pop,math rock,post-rock by deek on February 15, 2010
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