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The blog of author Dennis Cooper

Gig #123: Of late 32: NSRD, No Age, Full of Hell, Jay Glass Dubs, Kenneth Anger & Brian Butler’s Technicolor Skull, Porches, COH, Marta Forsberg, ROHT, Soho Rezanejad, blastah x Yoshitaka Hikawa, Mutant Video, Ilyas Ahmed, The Ceramic Hobs, Loke Rahbek & Frederik Valentin

 

NSRD
No Age
Full of Hell
Jay Glass Dubs
Kenneth Anger & Brian Butler’s Technicolor Skull
Porches
COH
Marta Forsberg
ROHT
Soho Rezanejad
blastah
Yoshitaka Hikawa
Mutant Video
Ilyas Ahmed
The Ceramic Hobs
Loke Rahbek & Frederik Valentin

 

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NSRD Schwenn
‘It is difficult to find much reliable information about NSRD, or Nebijušu Sajūtu Restaurēšanas Darbnīca, in English – there’s a short article on Wikipedia and an even shorter press release on their Bandcamp page. Anything else online about them is in forgotten corners of the internet, and in Latvian. However, what can be deciphered suggests that NSRD are one of the great undiscovered groups of the Soviet Union, sitting comfortably next to Kino. Led by poet and artist Juris Boiko and Hardijs Lediņš, a theoretician of architecture, they made truly singular agitpop. Unable to play any instruments themselves, Boiko and Lediņš recruited other musicians from the Latvian underground, along with various other non-musicians they knew, to contribute in whatever way they could to the NSRD ‘mood’. This lack of musical ability and the dire social climate Latvia experienced during Soviet occupation fed the sense of hypnagogia – that state between wakefulness and sleep – that drifts through the music. This was a result, perhaps, of NSRD’s unconventional approach to making music – they recorded every six months or so in an intense 24-hour session. NSRD’s music exudes something specifically Latvian – a clash between electronic composition and the spiritual, the modern and the traditional, a clash between Soviet constructivist architecture and Latvian countryside.’ — Alex Weston-Noond

 

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No Age Soft Collar Fad
Snares Like A Haircut is a weird, mercurial record that seems to change depending on which speakers I’m hearing it through. Listening in the car while driving or on my Bluetooth speaker while doing dishes, “Stuck in the Charger” sounds almost monolithic, full of overbearing fuzz and noise, moving parts that appear indistinguishable; however, when I listen on my headphones, I find it to be full of nuance and depth, with interesting sounds occurring simultaneously in the foreground and background, strange percussion clangs and feedback gliding in and out of the mix. In the same way, “Drippy” reveals itself via headphones to be a multi-dimensional composition built on a dazzling constellation of thoughtful use of sound and space.’ — Adam Rothbarth

 

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Full of Hell Trumpeting Ecstasy
‘Full of Hell’s upgraded toolbox is on full display on Trumpeting Ecstasy, their third and best solo album. With the coaching of hardcore luminary Kurt Ballou, the band barrel through a thrilling 23-minute gauntlet, all mosh-pits, sludge piles, and—because this is a Full of Hell album—bone-chilling reminders that we’re all going to die. While it’s anything but a crossover in the traditional sense (if you didn’t like grindcore before, this one probably won’t change your mind), the 11-song effort marks an impressive show of stylistic transcendence.’ — Zoe Camp

 

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Jay Glass Dubs Sieben Dub
‘Jay Glass Dubs is an exercise of style focusing on a counter factual historical approach of dub music, stripped down to its basic drum/bass/vox/effects form.’ — bc

 

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Kenneth Anger & Brian Butler’s Technicolor Skull Excerpt
‘Sweeping creeper atmospherics and ritual ambient from the duo of Kenneth Anger and Brian Butler. Using only guitar, electronics and theremin, the two conjure deep head space and cavernous landscapes, a powerful offering of esoteric psychedelia.’ — Lighten Up Sounds

 

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Porches Leave the House
‘Austere without the compulsion of self-restraint and experimental without the drag of formlessness, The House confirms Porches’ primacy as indie-dance mavens. Situated somewhere within the lacuna between darkwave and dance pop, the album revels in nebulous genre distinctions, with Maine showing more interest in reimagining stylistic boundaries than expanding or eliminating them. To wit, Aaron Maine is either the antithesis or the apotheosis of present day indie music. His fastidious grooming practices and unabashed vanity can be taken as a reaction against the aggressive non-superficiality of his contemporaries or, conversely, as an embrace of the turn of the (21st-) century fashion that his windbreaker-clad, center-parting, billowy-clothed cohorts so adore. But just like his music, Maine has no interest in being so neatly categorized.’ — Sean Hannah

 

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COH Love’s Septic Domain (feat. Jhon Balance & Louise Weasel)
‘What brings these works together is the incorporation of vocalists and lyrics. Neatly compiled here, a diverse pool of vocalists elevate the otherwise instrumental works of COH ( Ivan Pavlov) into worlds of narrative, the human and the haunted. Little Annie brings her sly subversive cabaret style to one of the works whilst delivering an intense lkist of daily activities on another whereas Peter ‚Sleazy‘ Christopherson conjures a world beyond our own with his cracked spectral delivery interpreting Pavlov’s disembodied electronics. “I wrap my last kiss in a bandage… I send you this message”. Frankie Gothard provides classic distorted industrial swagger to the proto-disco FFFETISH where LOVE’S SEPTIC DOMAIN (feat. John Balance & Louise Weasel) screams from the abyss of “dirty hospitals”; As starlit and damaged as any of the classic Balance deliveries.’ — Editions Mego

 

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Marta Forsberg To All Frequencies I Can Not Sense for Quartet
‘Marta Forsberg is a Swedish composer, sound artist and violinist working in the field of installation art, drone music and free improvisation. Dedicated to creating an immersive environment, Forsberg’s work extends the sensory realm through multichannel expansion and via light sculptures – a sonic visualisation.’ — bc

 

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ROHT Strákarnir Okkar
‘Stomping isolationist noise punk with a raging undercurrent of industry and primitivism from Reykjavik. All sung in Icelandic. Along with Dauðyflin, these folks are fostering a cold hardcore outsider vibe in a place that has had a rich tradition of punk/pop that’s not widely known for it. A truly exciting discovery. Never under estimate the remote reaches of our community, you’ll be zapped every time.’ — bc

 

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Soho Rezanejad Greed Wears a Disarming Face
Six Archetypes, Danish artist Soho Rezanejad’s debut record, is a chimerical feat. Essentially a lysergic pop album, the 14 songs here are an esoteric clarion call of confidence and freedom that touches on Jungian psychology (the six archetypes all bear song titles here). It is an album of calm amid the storm, fury held in check. It rattles the cages of protest, it calls for change. And ultimately, it transfixes and transcends. Rezanejad’s vocals – a heady mix of Nico’s monotone croon, the booming and unexpected inner strength of Zola Jesus and the idiosyncratic dexterity of Kate Bush – lends an resonance that is perfectly in sync with the electronic soundscapes and silences that form the bedrock of her music. Opener ‘Pilot: The Guardian’ highlights this, with vocals ebbing and flowing over undulating synth lines. She can hold brittle menace as the post-punk brood of ‘Reptile’ attests (“I wore a cruel smile stepping through knives”), she can sway in the dark, a new-wave oracle espousing anguish and fierceness in equal measure (the jaw-dropping ‘Greed Wears A Disarming Face’).’ — Brendan Telford

 

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blastah x Yoshitaka Hikawa 1 of 1
‘Deconstructed club music’ — sc

 

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Mutant Video Death Spots
‘Unfortunately, the horror movie soundtrack via industrial outfit known as Mutant Video is done, but they did manage to release one final LP of their dying gasp. I looked forward to this all year, and when it dropped I was all over it. Vanity Of Life differs somewhat from their previous efforts, however — the Cronenberg elements take more of a backseat to more of an old school death industrial and industrial punk sound — it’s heavier, harsher, and more overtly aggressive than what people have come to expect from Mutant Video; but don’t worry, it’s still rife with the paranoia inducing subtlety that they have excelled at in the past.’ — Fucked By Noise

 

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Ilyas Ahmed Passing Lines
‘After three silent years, Ilyas Ahmed returns with a new tactic on the same field. The void is now warm. Or at least warmer than before: the new sounds feel more human. The fuzzy distortion highlights the fleshy agency, rather than obscuring it. To further enhance this, as if having built up a sharper vocal opinion; the voice is brought to the foreground more than ever before. Trembling strings envelop the chants, driving the songs forward into an expanding plane of remoteness. In general, there remains a feeling of dishearteningly calm solitude; loyal to Ahmed’s earlier material, but this time – perhaps due to the warmer nature of the new melodies – it extends itself as a more affable, collective solitude.’ — Sonia de Jager

 

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The Ceramic Hobs Hong Kong Goolagong
‘The Ceramic Hobs are the band in the corner of the old man’s pub round the back of the venue getting drunk before they either: a.) slay your senses with a mind boggling set of punk inspired psychedelia or, b.) fall over screaming and fighting. They make The Fall look as stable as U2 and the Butthole Surfers as mainstream as R.E.M. The band is from Blackpool and they’ve been going since 1985.’ — Forced Exposure

 

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Loke Rahbek & Frederik Valentin You Come With
‘First outing for this collaborative effort from the prolific Posh Isolation mainstay Loke Rahbek and Frederik Valentin of KYO, also on the revered Danish label. As old friends circling around the same scene this is the first time they have combined their respective perspectives. The results are an ambitious aquatic infused audio environment. Recorded near water at Valentin’s studio within the vicinity of the new aquarium in Copenhagen, Buy Corals Online channels the sensual floating aspects of such environments.’ — Editions Mego

 

 

*

p.s. Hey. ** David Ehrenstein, Hi. Awesome you that you got to see that Wilson/Knowles performance. Legendary city. ** Dóra Grőber, Hi! I’m so glad it interested you. Yes, so boring: that simplistic take. There’s such a mania for easy, quick answers. I’ll never understand why people don’t accept the true pleasure of feeling wonder and confusion simultaneously. Thanks about the video interview. Of course all I thought about while I watched it was why was I acting so fidgety. Must have just chug-a-lugged a bunch of espressos. You’ve never flown? That must make the little flight seem interesting and little scary. Concentrate on the newness of it if you’re worried. Plane flights are kind of boring once you get used to them, but 90 minutes of experiencing its newness could make it quite interesting. It literally snowed all day and night without stop yesterday! It was like a miracle. And now the ground and things are all piled with white. Dream come true. Or at least until I go outside and face the soaked, freezing feet outcome. Oh, what happened with the esoteric lady? Is everything cool? Is the translation a go? Yesterday I mostly just tried to work only semi-successfully and watched the snow fall, but today I have to work for real by hook or crook. And you vis-a-vis today? ** Steve Erickson, Hi. Yes, it was shocking news. Happily (under the circumstances) my feed was far more full of tributes to Paul than to that actor (nothing against the actor). Yes, I totally agree about Knowles, and, yes, the counting and some other texts in ‘Einstein’ were his. Congrats your first of hopefully very many AV Club gigs! ** Jamie, Hi, Jamie! Thank you about the post. Yeah, if you ever wander upon a copy of ‘Typings’, grab it. My day was a lot of beautiful snow falling and more trying to work than working. But I absolutely need to get in the zone today. *concentrating* Well, I’m certainly glad Jonathan realized his hastiness and poor judgement, and … could this lead to more work for him? Would you even want that? I love snow, and then I go walking in it and I remember how cold it is and how you have to think about walking while you’re walking, and I’m, like, okay, I get why snow isn’t a total idealisation, but I still prize this situation. The Seine is still very full, maybe slightly less full, although maybe snowing will refill it again. I don’t know how that works. Eileen is super friendly and energetic. Saying hi will be easy. Wednesday is ‘I need to work’ day. I hope that works. Thanks about the video interview. It was just before our last screening, and we were a little nervous, and it made me realise that Zac and is better at keeping his nervousness private than I am. May your Wednesday be as great as what happens to Robert Pollard’s song ‘Dunce Codex’ when he sings the lyrics ‘Why do the cows keep coming / just to run through the grinder / Please excuse me I’ve lost my girl / and I need to go find her’. Insane garden hose love, Dennis. ** _Black_Acrylic, Hi, Ben. Yeah, def snatch a copy of ‘Typings’ if you ever see one. Um, well, I’m sure Morgan knows best re: the dilemma? Do know if doing that would be unprecedented or considered bad form or so on? ** Chaim Hender, Hi, Chaim! How nice to see you, man! You been good? Sure hope so. Yeah, he makes typewriters seem awesome, but then I remember typing novels on it when one had no choice, and all that WhiteOut and trying to fix rather than retype pages with rubber cemented, applicay-ed paragraphs and … Hm, hadn’t thought of Vigo re: Gilles. Maybe? Vigo meets the Nouvelle Vague? I love good confusions. Awesome. I say submit both, old and new. Can’t see why not. Yeah, good to see you, bud. ** Armando, Hi, man. Another ‘CMGYN’ fan, interesting. I still don’t want to see it. I’ve never read Proust, something I’ve even kind of proud of for some perverse reason, I think mostly because people act like my reading ability is a slutty virgin in a whorehouse when I say that. Longest novel … I still don’t know. ‘The Magic Mountain’ was pretty long. I should figure that question out for fun. Hm, second favourite Didion novel … maybe ‘A Book of Common Prayer’? What’s yours? See ya. ** Okay. I made one of my gigs of recent music that I’ve been into for you. I think this one contains more guitar usage and might be a bit more raucous overall than usual? Maybe? Why don’t you go find out. Thank you. See you tomorrow.

15 Comments

  1. hey,

    thx 4 the anger piece. adored it. its magnificent. & that performance was at moca… fuck… some people r so fucking lucky…

    “I still don’t want to see it.” it just doesnt interest u at all or is it bcuz its somethin ure “proud of for some perverse reason”?

    “I’ve never read Proust, something I’ve even kind of proud of for some perverse reason, I think mostly because people act like my reading ability is a slutty virgin in a whorehouse when I say that.” i get u, but i do want 2 read him a lot, definitely, at the very least isolt. maybe 1 day. btw, wouldnt “slutty virgin” b an oxymoron?

    “‘The Magic Mountain’ was pretty long.” definitely, but it doesnt come any close to so many other novels. i think a novel like against the day is even longer. juliette as well. infinite jest 4 certain. not 2 mention war & peace & les miserables, etc, etc.

    “What’s yours?” the last thing he wanted. definitely. no doubt. i mean, after piail, obviously.

  2. David Ehrenstein

    February 7, 2018 at 3:24 pm

    Lotsa Lovely Weirdness Today.

    The reason I keep needling you about Proust, Dennis is that at heart you’ve got so mcu in common. Granted you’re not Jewish, nor sickly, nor scooting round the edges of High Society. But his feelings about life and art, and his feelings about feelings have much in common with you. Plus there’s Proust’s relationship with Reynaldo Hahn — which I’ve aways thought of as a Dennis Cooper story avant la letter. Renaldo (A Great Composer of Art Songs) became at one point such an obsession for Marcel that he nearly went insane. The climax of the “Un Amour de Swan” section of “A Cote de Chez Swann” in which Swann is nearly arrested by the police for trying to break into Odette’s apartment in order to see what’s going on in it when she wasn’t there is a rather precise recapitulation of Proust’s frenzy. But he got over it and they went on together as good friends.

    Proust’s big problem was his possessiveness. He was unable to separate love from total domination. And by that not jut simple physical domination but psychological as well. He HAD to have the beloved’s heart and soul. This sort of Absolute Passion is surely of great interest to you.

    As for other novels, “The Magic Mountain” is long but not as long as Gaddis’ “The Recognitions” or Musil’s “The Man Without Qualities.”

  3. Hey Dennis. I don’t know if you’re familiar with the musician Qebrus, but he recently passed away and thought you and anyone on the blog should know and check his music out. It’s the most insane flashcore kind of stuff. Thanks for the amazing list of music to check out btw.

  4. Hey Dennis,
    Lots to check out here as usual….dammit i need more time! I’ve been meaning to ask do you like Tim Hecker at all? He’s only a recent discovery for me but I can’t get enough of his work though i’m only allowed to listen to it by myself and on headphones because no one else i know can stand it.

    So, the inaugural workshop is underway! I think we still have about 3-4 slots open if anyone is interested. Email again to anyway up for it is thomaspatrick.kendall@gmail.com

    School starts on Monday (ugh) and I have to read some Alice Munro…i’m not really a big fan and I have a ton of other stuff i’d much rather be going through….ah well.

    hope you’re well man, congrats about the PGL buzz…can’t wait to see it.

  5. Your blog is very buggy lately. It ate a comment I tried to post earlier and then wouldn’t let me reload the page.

    Anyway, I’m surprised, but I am “meh” on a lot of these artists. My favorite is NOHT: hardcore with either tons of feedback or analog synthesizers, yay! I also liked Jay Glass Dubs, Full of Hell (great video, and very a propos on a snowy NYC day) and Loke Rohbek & Frederik Valentin.

    The weather is not awful in New York, but it’s not exactly pleasant, and I have to go to the Upper East Side to see my shrink in about an hour. Then, this evening I want to get out to see PADDINGTON 2, using MoviePass for the first time to get in for free.

  6. Hi!

    I think that makes two of us!
    Haha. I thought that was pretty normal behavior in an interview situation. When I made the interviews for the trans project, I felt (and most probably acted) the same way even though I only recorded our words.
    That’s right, I’ve never flown before! It feels a little crazy or strange. Thank you! I am indeed a little bit nervous about it but I’ll take the advice and try to focus on the newness of the situation, in a good way!
    Yaaay! Finally you have some beautiful snow there! I hope it stays!
    The esoteric lady said that the translation was okay and she thinks we’ll be able to work together but… she just found out that they (they’re an organization) don’t need the book right away so she couldn’t tell me when, exactly, I’ll be needed. It wasn’t a too lovely surprise because now I have to look for some other temporary job but oh well, I guess. What matters is that it’ll happen, sooner or later.
    Today, I had one of those days when it feels like I didn’t really do anything and I was still busy all day. In the afternoon, I met a friend and it was nice. There was a terrifyingly awful painting on the wall of the tea house we went to, haha.
    How was today on your end? Did you manage to work on what you had to?

  7. Robert Ashley made “opera for television,” probably the strangest formal conflation in recent memory. Yeah, music.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xgS_TYh1rO4

  8. Nice to see Ceramic Hobs get a shout-out here. I’m friends with one of the band members, Simon Morris, who is also a very good writer… his last book, “Creepshots,” was released by Philip Best’s press last year.

    Did you hear that Michael Gira has a new book coming out? I ordered it today:

    https://younggodrecords.com/products/michael-gira-the-egg

  9. Yola babolah, Dennis!
    My pick of today’s pops would have to be Mutant Video and RHOT. I very much like MV’s sheer delight in what they are and RHOT”s name goes a long way for me, but that track’s pretty nifty too. Thanks for the selection! Have you heard Shitkid? She’s my favourite music of the moment. I even bought her physical cd, which is a rarity for me. Don’t know if she’ll be up your street, but the way the songs on her album are recorded is heavenly to me – cheaply effected vocals and a wheezing drum machine.
    As your official script-buddy I hope you found yourself comfortably ensconced with ‘the zone’ for the whole of Tuesday. I feel like I burnt myself out on the animation scripts this morning and have since been dicking around and not applying myself to my own script. Been annoying myself and having a bit of a crisis of confidence. Suddenly the idea of a full feature length screenplay seems way out of my range. But it’s not, right? Anyway, I hope you’ve been getting on well with all projects. Where are you at?
    A friend of mine posted a pic of snowy Paris on fb today and it looked positively magical. Snow is the best, I think.
    Hey, I listened to Dunce Codex to see what you were talking about. That bit is special, so thanks!
    So, have some mental cheerleading from me to will you into ‘the zone’ for Thursday.
    May your day be as pretty as that tiny wee pause that Abba put into I Have A Dream on the last time they sing, ‘I believe in angels’ – they kind of stretch the second half of ‘believe’ and it’s righteously sublime.
    Fake fake love,
    Jamie

  10. btw, i saw ullmanns miss julie the other day. cant believe i hadnt seen it at all. such an imbecile. masterpiece. really great. then again, what else can u expect from ullmann.

    ok, now im ready to binge on my beloved benzos. 🙂 bye.

  11. I’m enjoying Jay Glass Dubs, sounds like Basic Channel and 90s dub techno to my ears. More dub than techno obvs, but the percussion gets that way with all the nice and spooky echoing.

    Still loving the Russell Haswell feat. Sue Tompkins track round here. That vocal is everything I want in a track. I was taught by Sue’s sister Hayley in Dundee many years ago, they’re a talented family.

    Today I sent away the Yuck ‘n Yum funding application for printing the compendium. Alex has requested funding for his Seattle flight and I figure it’s legit to request for a separate project so long as we’re both clear and above board. All the YNY crew are supportive so we’ll wait to hear what the response is.

  12. The Film Society of Lincoln Center just announced the lineup for its March “Rendezvous with French Cinema” series: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gc1ImO9QDP8/. Any recommendations? Judging from the directors’ previous work, I want to see the films by Beauvois, Suwa, Lvovsky, Dumont and Civeyrac. The Depardon is opening for a week-long run at Anthology, the very next day after it plays “Rendezvous.” Unfortunately, this series tends to sell all its available tickets to elderly Upper West Side francophiles as soon as they go on sale. I am waiting to see what films are screened to the press from Feb. 20-22 and what I may be able to catch then, although I am not writing about this series. One friend of mine bought a ticket for all but one film in this program last year (I only caught RAW & SLACK BAY, and both of those were because I had to review them – if I had more time, I would’ve seen more films.) I’m staying way the fuck away from the new film from the directors of THE INTOUCHABLES,

    Before today, I knew that my shrink is gay. I still don’t know if he has a husband or boyfriend at the moment (I’d guess he’s 5 years older than me at most), but I learned this afternoon that he has a 19-year-old son who is a big fan of EDM, which he finds unlistenable. This came about because I mentioned that I’d started writing for the AV Club and tried describing how DJ Taye sounds and then the context of footwork. I said something like “the vast majority of EDM sounds like a bastardization of much better ’80s and ’90s house and techno music to me, but despite its initials meaning ‘electronic dance music’ literally, it’s one of many sub-genres within electronic dance music.”

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