April kicked arse in terms of gigs. Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs bulldozered the Bullingdon and then, just two days later on the same stage, Jim Jones let us into his headspace. Of those two bands there’s no question that Pigsx7 have got more going on, but a sharp-dressed Jim Jones and the Righteous Mind made a rollicking Friday night. With tracks like Sex Robot and Satan’s Got a Hard-On for You, knocked out with righteous holler, how can they not entertain? They do. Right on.

OK, on with the show with new sounds.


If you’re partial to Urthona‘s heavy rural distortions then you probably already know about an Urthona-related project that’s on album #2 already, but I didn’t. It’s The Other Without.

Who they? Neil Mortimer and Michael J York. What they do? Penetrate your head with space – an hour and five minutes of it, to be exact-ish. Four long trips of quiet motion, field recordings, keyboard swells and guitar arcs. Birdsong. Waves. Motifs tinkling, slow planetary turns, not a shred of Urthona-styled violence. A Novel Method for Determining Galaxy Orbits serves a hushed ambience for outer space cinematics, while Albion Light Vessel strips all mass from its electronics. Galactic or not, everything is earthbound. Beat-less but pulsing. The nature of things? The things of nature. Tune in for a transporting shimmer.

The Other Without

Reel calm

That was the light. Now for the dark – a trio of lo-viz highlights.


Industrialised beats push Hannah Cartwright’s vocal haunt into a dense, dark, edge-land trip that tips a nod to JK Broadrick’s heavyweight grim. Rip is a dream going wrong, the kind you definitely want to wake from. Run. Away. It all drags downwards.

PAULA TEMPLE: Post-Scarcity Anarchism

Hi-energy electronic DOOOOM …. you know how Underworld’s King of Snake has that white-hot scrape of a subway train hurling past at full tilt? Take that vibe, pound it heavier and pack those unstopping carriages with no-soul people-oids, aka the bodysnatched. Now you’re in the Post-Scarcity Anarchism zone. And no, the wonk euphoria ending does not lift the tension. Temple, next stop.


RKTKN #2 was and is a non-sticky album – noise rock shot through with quiet-loud spaces and a bad-tripping carnival gothic. Short on hooks, big on stubborn twists, these Belgians are very much their own thing and now we’ve got a new album, RKTKN #3. From it, here’s Ricky doing what Raketkanon do but thickened by a synth underlay. Somewhere near Shortparis and New York art noise, perhaps?

And if you never knew you needed desert trance, electronics and guitar distortion from south Tunisia, wrap your e-holes round Moola Nefta by Ifriqiyya Electrique. Intense.

til next time!



As we find ourselves frosted up in a Siberian super-ice, what else is there to do but check a few curios and new sounds from the past month? Winter puns fully intended, and if you seek stately gothic grandeur to soundtrack the whitened vistas wherever you are, you can do a lot worse than try Paradise Lost’s Medusa – worked well this morn on a rare drive to work, especially track 4: The Longest Winter. HAVE IT.


With all eyes focused on the freeze from the east, we took our opticals off a blizzard from the north … Evil Blizzard. From Preston. With a two-track cassette. Trading in the kind of mania that pigsx7 revel in, these two tunes come off like a PiL/Heads space explosion fired by a Relax-ing Frankie bass thrust (Fast Forward/Rewind) and Killing Joke’s tribal fury (Knock Knock Knock). Sci fi clatter-psyche for 2018, check the Evil maskies right here.

Evil Blizzard: Fast Forward Rewind cover

Tapes of wrath: Evil Blizzard


From Russia with glove … shady flickers. Perfect. Hear the voice and recall Beth Gibbons, then it clicks – we’re occupying an electro doom crossover space not unlike Portishead’s Third, but with more scope for going right off the rails. Album downloaded from bandcamp, eager to hear what Shortparis do on a longplayer. Thanks to Mary Anne Hobbs for playing it in the first place.

ELEPHANT9: Actionpack1

Snowegian, innit? The Most Arresting Fusion Award for February goes to this Norwegian three-o who, like countrymen Motorpsycho, live on Rune Grammofon and do a heavy line in prog jazz fusion, at least on this track. You gotta check the drumwork. Cobham Billy, much?


The latest escapee from Head Heritage is an album by Dope – that is, Julian Cope and a bunch of his un-usual suspects, including Holy McGrail, ploughing another Rite/Black Sheep furrow of elongation, lo-fi and hi-reps, but we know the slow-burn score for these things by now. Leave Yourself Behind starts with a s.t.a.r.c.a.r. excess but drops it for a quarter-hour chant over a reduced Psycho Killer bass line. The Binding of Loki digs a Rite At Ya groove for even longer but pulls you in, if you let it. Essential? No, not yet, and perhaps not ever, but your inner drude compels you to check and here it is. Decide for yourself.


A far more satisfying Cope-related excursion comes from Urthona and, as ever, they take you OUT … side. Their drone does not oppress. Their drone is Of The Land – frozen moor tops, rusted heath, jagged outcrops, grey-full skies and glacial – yes, let’s use that overused g-word – glacial carve-outs. Tantric, tundric ebbs, this time enriched with non-axe instrumentation. Can’t explain this stuff, you feel it or you don’t, so give Invocation of the Ghosts of the Battle of Roundway Down a go and maybe check these few words on a previous Urthona outing while you’re out-there.


Can’t touch this: Malley time. This track, a colossal no-flow from new album Reve Noir, does cut-and-splice for a voyeuristic flit between crackles, hums, pulses and guitar fragments. Glitchy and insular and inhabited by ghosts, get the proper story and snatch an excerpt on Soundohm.

Right then, we’re done – some first impressions from February. Stay warm.

’til next time!

New noise One Three One

REWIND MARCH: Urthona soundtracking, Mike Patton Freakzone and MegaDave’s thirteen faves 

Very late round-up of some March bitz so let’s just GET – ON – WITH – IT. Without shouting, sorry.

After waiting like a dum-dum for the Urthona out-of-stock message to vanish on the Arch Drude’s Head Heritage Merchandiser page, I shook off my Total Bell head and went a-virtual hunting for Urthona Plays Atlantis?, another soundtrack to Julian Cope’s One Three One novel: yep, I went to the Source – Urthona’s own campband site. And guess what? Said CD is very-much-there, very-much-in-stock…pretty obvious when you think about, but I didn’t. Anyway, released back in January, this 37-minute two-tracker is livewire drone sculpting writ large, as you’d expect from Urthona’s self-styled heavy rural-ism. Bruxo is windswept soothing with semi-ambient sunburst, while Reppu is barbed and howling, a bringer of the sinister ’til it blows itself out on Pagey violinbow moans to kiss the mellow once again. Top-o’-the-moors stuff. If you know Urthona then no great changes (good, we like it that way), and if One Three One’s epic Vesuvio floated your whatsit last year, be sure to check Atlantis? right here. And – stock arrival alert (finally) – here.

Mike Patton John Kaada 

Kaada Patton are back! Not with More Romances from Johnny and Mikey, but the scarier sounding Bacteria Cult. They were interviewed – no, they spoke to each other and it was broadcast as an interview – on Stuart Maconie’s Freakzone at the weekend, and while the set-up sounds as natural as plastic, you gotta tune in, right? MIKE PATTON, on the wireless! ‘Interview’ is here, around 44 minutes in, and if you stick around in the F-zone there’s a new Enslaved track aired. Stick around even longer and there’s a Saturday night delve into Patton’s Many Many Bands on the Freakier Zone, April 10th. A fine excuse to visit that sprawling Patton back catalogue again.

Daveus Mustaineus Quietus

Of course, he’s not quiet – he knows not how – but this feature in Quietus was a pretty cool read: Mustaine and 13 of his fave formative albums. Words spoken like a fan, and man-of-the-year Bowie and classic Zep in the mix as well.

’til next time!