Wednesday, October 22, 2014

"Psychedelic" Noise: Sunroof! and other Bower-isms

Wow who the hell decided what the font sizes on this blog were going to be?  What is this, like "medium jumbo" font size?  I need to switch this shit the fuck up.
Going back to "normal" size now.  Screw you, if you can't read it get glasses.  Although I might change my writings to black to help out any grandmothers/disabled veterans who need to read my blog.

So moving on, I decided I'm overdue to write about some of the music that I sort of love to hate.  I wonder about Mr. Matthew Bower sometimes.  If you have not lived through reading his blog, I highly (think like, high on drugs) recommend it:

On his blog you can read about his kittens, see his artwork, and occasionally be treated to news about upcoming tours or releases.  My favorite part of his blog is that the post about Skullflower's latest release, Draconis, starts with like 8 pictures and posts about cats.  Ahh, Matt Bower, you crazy son of a gun.

He must lead a very interesting life though.  I might do a post about him, alone.  But then, I'm kind of lazy.  So maybe not.  His first project was Pure, a fairly large band (as these things tend to go) and its a bit of garage rock, very loud, not super rhythmic, and fairly decent, I suppose, if you're into that sort of thing (which I'm not).  Splitting from that he started his own band Total, which was pretty much just him with occasional guest appearances.  Also he started Skullflower, which was a several person ensemble, starting with 3 people on their first release.  Oddly enough the first Skullflower release was with two other people that would "make it" in other bands, Whitehouse and Ramleh respectively.

But I'm not writing about Skullflower really.  Not until Argon did Skullflower dabble in "psychedelic" noise, and they didn't embrace it completely until 1995's Transformer.  It was also around that time Bower started a new project.  In 1997 he launched Sunroof!  The first real Sunroof! release, Slipstream, was actually not too bad, a bit more drone than we were hearing from Skullflower or Total, but the psychedelic-ness crept in as the CD played on, especially showing itself in the last 3 tracks.

Now, I'm sure this type of music has its fans.  I'm not one of them, however.  Its just so loopy and weird, so completely out there.  When you are putting Sunroof!  next to a band like Kemialliset Ystavat, you are really doing some loopy music.  (just youtube them, I'm not putting in a link)

Then Skullflower followed suit, with releases such as This Is, Exquisite Fucking Boredom, and Tribulation.  But luckily this was a short lived venture, and from there Skullflower grew harsher and screechier and then finally reintroduced hardcore with Desire for a Holy War.

Within this time, Bower also started the band Hototogisu with Marcia Bassett.  Hototogisu was the closest Bower would come to Skullflower, but sort of if like Sunroof and Skullflower had a illegitimate child.  More drones, more screeches, the absence of any structure or form or a beat, Hototogisu is really one of those bands where every track....kinda sounds exactly the same.  Which, again, I'm sure there are fans....but no, not here.  I like the joint venture with Prurient, because Dominic Fernow's presence was felt and heard, but otherwise, its pretty skip-able.

This, Sunroof!, Skullflower, and some Hototogisu, is really the closest I'll come to "psychedelic" noise.  There may be more of this out there, if it's your thing.  Is it yours?  If so, listen to this:

Monday, October 6, 2014


What the hell exactly is a Pimmon?  Well, I'm actually pretty sure it's just a made up word.  And much like all electronic experimental music, it's odd, deceptive, and twisty.  I'm kind of just making up what might sound like a descriptive word at this point.
Pimmon came onto the scene about 17 years ago when there were an array of IDM artists making big names for themselves, and he didn't exactly make a huge impact.  Perhaps it is because he is from Australia and most big names were in Europe at the time.  I didn't first hear about him until he released Secret Sleeping Birds in 2001.
I think the best thing about Pimmon is that he is able to have that very experimental, "what the fuck is this" type of approach, the chin-stroking, contemplative IDM music approach, and he is also able to have truly beautiful ambient masterpieces.  It seems almost all of his releases feature one or two of each of these type of songs, sandwiched in between beat driven songs, odd experiments, and one or two other ventures.
One other thing I love about Pimmon is the sense of humor that is conveyed throughout his song and album titles.  He seems to have fun creating words and phrases to suit the songs.  When you have a song made up of electronic noise, a title is both unnecessary and always a challenge.  Unless you want to take the path of simply not naming your creation, which many artists do, the title process is a challenge.  We see artists like Pimmon making up words, or using codes, or simply stringing along unrelated words sometimes.  I truly don't know what is expected of an artist, but song titles I have always thought to be both a benefit and a drawback to songs.  Even a pop song, the title is expected to be like a "summary" of what the song is.  If the chorus says "I love you baby darling" or whatever, you can name the song "baby darling".  What the fuck do you name a song though that is a bunch of machines grinding into your ears?
Hence you have Pimmon making names like "Curse You, Evil Clown", "Electronic Tax Return" and "Snaps Crackles Pops".

I realize my posts, my writing is getting shorter.  I'll do better I promise!