NEW NIN, NEW GLOOM

MARCH REWIND: CORONAVIRUS LOCKDOWN

We’re all in it, but still … fucking hell. That was the month that was, still is and will be for all our foreseeables. The COVID 19 lockdown, thee mighty psyche scrambler.

Which means that the appetite (and time) for All New Sounds is a tad reduced, but there we go. Fewer tunes and words than usual this month, sign o’ the times. Music is ever-present but we’ve got different needs and moods right now, and that’s why new gear from Nine Inch Nails (YES), Old Man Gloom (DITTO THAT) and others feel like such colossal gifts, so let’s celebrate those in a min. First, a couple of worthy new underground sonics.

TORPOR – Two Heads on Gold

Nippy this is not. Earth-paced beats slip between dense sheets of surging, droning distortion that make for a deliberate, imposing slab of machine doom, given depth and space by the spoken word. Ready?

THAMMUDU & MISHTI – Body Negativity

Industrial meditation music. For one. Chase the haunting, just-out-of-reach melody while never quite escaping the nightmarish pull … check it here.

NINE INCH NAILS – Ghosts V / Ghosts VI

Big, big surprise, this – NIN just announced they’ve put 2 new albums out ahead of their planned release dates and made them free to download. Go read their statement at nin.com, thoughtful and concise as ever.

OLD MAN GLOOM – Light of Meaning / Darkness of Being

Another established name serving double-release treats is simian-core terrorists Old Man Gloom and, like NIN, their statement comes from exactly the right place, but with added dicking about. How can we resist? We can’t. Pre-order done and paid for.

These are generous moves from our musicians, and we’ll no doubt be seeing a lot more (Metallica Mondays and Michael Stipe’s touching No Time for Love Like Now demo are two more things keeping spirits high), but what can we, the fans, do?

Keep being fans. Keep sharing tips and buying music. Use your local record shop’s mail-order service (if they have one) to help them survive this crisis, buy the merchandise that you might not normally. Order albums in advance from record labels, as encouraged by Old Man Gloom, because it gives the label some money up front. Check the #loverecordstores campaign.

Music wins.

Finally, a brief last word for Bill Rieflin RIP. Anyone who plays on stage with King Crimson is among the most gifted musicians around, so this is another big drum loss for 2020. For a more brutal Rieflin hit, head back to this landmark album.

’til next time!

amplifier wordsmith: the monthly rewind

amplifier wordsmith: the monthly rewind

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