The blog of author Dennis Cooper

Halloween Gig #129: Of late 38: Sunn O))), Grim, Bliss Signal, Himukalt, Pig Destroyer, Ital Tek, Eartaker, Puce Mary, Jesus Piece, Ipek Gorgun, Straight Panic, Drew McDowall, Innumerable Forms, Pan Daijing, Spiritflesh *

* Halloween countdown post #7


Sunn O)))
Bliss Signal
Pig Destroyer
Ital Tek
Puce Mary
Jesus Piece
Ipek Gorgun
Straight Panic
Drew McDowall
Innumerable Forms
Pan Daijing


Sunn O))) live @ Psycho Las Vegas, August 19, 2018
‘I only showed up for the evening session on Sunday after taking the day to recover, but I still caught my favorite set of the festival, courtesy of the polarizing Sunn O))). Augmented only during their 75 minutes onstage by haunting lights, heavy fog and a semi-circle of massive amplifeirs, the black-hooded Stephen O’Malley and Greg Anderson layered together the loudest, heaviest drone piece I’ve ever experienced, a darkly hypnotic guitar bath that rattled the ribs in my chest and vibrated the organs beneath them.’ — Spencer Patterson


Grim Volcano Flower
‘Each track on this tape is an overwhelming nightmare of bleak soundscapes, obscured samples, terrifying screams and howls, abrasive arcs of screeching noise, and pulsing repetition. And, of course, all of this is juxtaposed with uncomfortably serene melodies which are just as (if not arguably more) haunting than the crushing cacophonies which they sit in between. Like all of Grim’s work, the uncomfortable silence following the final track hangs heavy in the air around the listener, and that moment is as beautiful as it is unnerving, which is the very essence of Grim.’ — Fucked by Noise


Bliss Signal Untitled
‘Bliss Signal just makes that experience more explicit. Reverb and bright synth lines, the kind you’d hear on an Eluvium song, settle alongside crashes of cymbals and pounding bass drums. Not quite metal and not quite dance music, “Bliss Signal” finds common ground in the way each of those genres works on the body. It’s an exciting introduction to an odd couple whose strangeness subsides the more you think about it.’ — Sasha Geffen


Himukalt Ruined-Raped
‘As admirers of Himukalt’s four previous tape releases, Malignant is pleased to present the first full length LP from this promising, Nevada based, female fronted act. The project of the enigmatic Ester Kärkkäinen, Knife Through the Spine delivers a steady cascade of abstract sounds, festering with grinding pneumatic throb, coarse frequency blasts and sputtering electronic oscillations, with spliced snippets of processed, flanged vocals and a general sense of social anxiety and disaffection. There’s something uniquely old school and primitive at work here, capturing the claustrophobic, unsettled and fragmented sound of early Illusion of Safety or mid-late ‘80s industrial on a whole, contemporizing it, and filling it in with an obsessive, post-mortem feel.’ — Malignant Records


Pig Destroyer Army of Cops
‘Grindcore dwelt on the fringes of culture during the latter part of the Cold War, but in 2018, with Pig Destroyer’s Head Cage, it has moved to occupy the centre: a ferocious sonic blender of the heaviest ingredients – it takes down the security state (‘Army Of Cops’), skewers those who dodge having the courage of their convictions (‘Circle River’), and decries how quick we are to turn on each other when we do express our beliefs (‘Trap Door Man’). The album points to a personal and social malaise that is endemic in the second decade of the twenty-first century. It is the sound of a mass psychic breakdown enabled by new tech tools of self-harm. Our heads are getting fucked up, and Pig Destroyer are gleefully applying more pressure.’ — Dan Franklin


Ital Tek Lithic
‘At some point in the last couple of years, the music stopped being just “cinematic” and became the cinema itself. That is to say, it became kinetic, the source of movement through sound. Perhaps a better word to describe such a transforming experience would be “cinesonic” [can we just coin that term? can we? yes?] to move one’s mind through the perceived pressure levels, or, even better, “vitaphonic” [ok, I’m really trying here, folks], for the sound is living on its own. It’s not enough these days to just put on an album, at your desk on your commute. One must prepare themselves for an hour of active listening as if commencing on a journey, on metamorphosis through music, and let it carry you away. There are more than a few albums out there that achieve such level of dynamic alteration, but not as much as the latest offering from Ital Tek.’ — Headphone Commute


Eartaker Iron Trivet
‘In 2017, dubstep producer Goth-Trad recruited vocalist Diesuck and noise artist Masayuki Imanishi to form the doom metal unit Eartaker. The Japanese trio employ dense atmospheric noise and Diesuck’s low scream for a sound that is even darker and more disconcerting than Goth-Trad’s most vicious productions. A prominent figure in the Japanese dubstep scene, Goth-Trad gained notoriety with grime-influenced tracks and releases on the legendary Deep Medi Musik. Bedouin Records has released music from artists such as Merzbow, Tzusing and Pan Daijing.’ — Henry Bruce-Jones


Puce Mary Red Desert
‘The Drought is a “first person narrative,” where the “traumatised body serves as a dry landscape of which obscured memories and escape mechanisms fold reality into fiction, making sense of desire, loss and control.” The release is still noisy and industrial-sounding, and Frederikke Hoffmeier is still found speaking in a way that erects our armhairs, but it’s also clearly following a path. The written works of Charles Baudelaire and Jean Genet were supposedly an inspiration.’ — TMT


Jesus Piece Lucid
‘Jesus Piece rage at the nexus of hardcore, death metal, industrial, and ’90s metalcore. They’re part of a new metalcore movement that proves that experimentation and succinct, clobbering riffs can not only coexist, but make for natural partners. On their first full-length, Only Self, they make the case that such should be the new tradition.’ — Andy O’Connor


Ipek Gorgun Afterburner
‘In the work of Ipek Gorgun, small moves and grand gestures are equally important. Before she molds her instrumental electronic music into massive shapes, the Turkish sound artist infuses it with precise detail. “I work with milliseconds in the beginning, then I switch to seconds, then to minutes,” she once explained. “At the end, I think about the whole arrangement of the structure… So I zoom in, zoom out, and try to find a way to fit everything in place.” As a result, her compositions connect on the micro level of individual sounds as well as on the macro level of widescreen narrative.’ — Marc Masters


Straight Panic لواط
‘Straight Panic is the queer nihilist power electronics project of Thomas Boettner, formerly from Minneapolis, MN and now based in New Orleans, LA. Against assimilation, against ease, Straight Panic matches the intensity of queer rage and desire to richly layered sound, drawing on sources such as the writing of Dennis Cooper to the atrocities of the current “gay purge” in Chechneya.’ — Issue Project Room


Drew McDowall Rhizome
‘Growing up in the gangs of 1970’s Scotland, McDowall traded in the daily violence for the aggressive self-expressionism of punk, forming his own band in 1978 called The Poems with his then-wife Rose McDowall. This project led to friendships with Genesis P-Orridge, David Tibet, and countless others, and soon after, McDowall found himself in the ranks of P-Orridge’s Psychic TV. Later on McDowall established himself as a full-time member of the arcane and esoteric outfit known as Coil. His impact on Coil’s sound became apparent as the releases transformed from their pervious avant pop signature to a more complex and methodic electronic imprint, accompanied by even more abstruse subject matter than previous years.’ — Dais Records


Innumerable Forms Contaminated
‘It makes sense that members from such first class acts as Power Trip, Genocide Pact, Mammoth Grinder and Magic Circle would make quality music, but no one could anticipate the sheer magnitude of power that Innumerable Forms let loose with Punishment in Flesh, a true death doom cataclysm. Standing as both title track and an accurate reflection of the whole album, “Punishment in Flesh” wallows in glacial heaviness before bursting into a raging tectonic rumble that would intimidate even the most staunchly macho meathead.’ — Brayden Turenne


Pan Daijing Phenomenon
‘Noise music is listening music. It requires some certain kind of strength. I’m not very much into philosophical noise music, it’s more a noise wall or harsh noise which has very interesting concepts behind it. I like rawness. When you come from more of a dark side and you start from that point and then you go to the light, that’s what I resonate with. This kind of darkness, when something hurts you so much you can’t moan about it every day any more, it’s like when someone you’re so close to passes away and you can’t cry. That’s how I feel.’ — PD


Spiritflesh Impasse
‘One of Bristol’s worst kept secrets, Spiritflesh – outed as the duo of DJ October and Borai – piles their considerable weight behind four hulking riddims built, Frankenstein’s monster style, from elements of doom metal, EBM and industrial noise fused with dub pressure. “Impasse” is utterly ghoulish, with the bass sucked below a dense shoal of ghostly dub figures, perhaps imagining a spawn of Drexicya, and the black hole of Cobalt Links opens its gargantuan jaws to anyone foolhardy to get close enough.’ — boomkat




p.s. Hey. ** David Ehrenstein, Hey. Yes, a short term solution, I guess. ** _Black_Acrylic, Hi, Ben. How is the class, if you’ve started? Maybe I’ll find out as I move through time here, if it’s already going. Cool you made it to the V&A. A show about ocean liners is unexpected and interests the … nerd (?) in me. ** Steve Erickson, Hi. I have no idea about that photo. I just came across it. Ah, very curious about that double review. Everyone, Here are Mr. Erickson’s thoughts on the double whammy of the new Yves Tumor and Low albums. No, we didn’t have mixtapes for the road trip, just full albums, pulled tracks, etc. And no Krautrock for no good reason. A bunch of hot off the presses stuff mostly. Everyone, Also read Steve’s overview of the New York Film Festival to find out what most of you (and me) are missing here. I hope you feel better ASAP. ** Misanthrope, Hi, G. Wait, I’m not remembering your dates, but I think you’re there. Over here. Over here-ish. Are you commentable, if so? Ha ha, LCTG on a porn site. I bet those clips got a whole lot of thumbs and penises down. ** Paul Curran, Thanks, Paul! Gisele and all her dancers are in Japan right now (Kyoto, but I think most of them are visiting Tokyo too) without me, very sadly. Yes, I think S. was indeed there. I didn’t know it was (partly?) to do a special appearance with Boris, but that makes total sense. Sweet. Thanks! The Germany theme park trip was a blast. London too. The film went down really well, and it was interesting to read new prose for the first time in ages, and London was fun in that London-y way. How are you? Are you managing to write? ** JM, Thanks a lot about the post, bud. You good? ** Bill, Hi, Bill. Happy you were happy to see Carpenter back. Yes, ‘Bosun’ is fantastic! I read it in Germany. I want to see ‘I am not a witch’ too, and I haven’t read the Tim Mohr, but yeah, I’ve read a lot of grumbling in its regard. When it comes to the slaves’ literary aspirations, you are like the Gordon Lish from hell! Ha ha. Ditto on also wanting to see ‘Resolution’. Local listings will be scoured. Probably too early though. ** Shane Christmass, Hi, Shane! I got your book. I’m excited to read it. All is very well, I hope? ** Michael V, Hi! You are a person after my own heart and imagination! ** Ferdinand, Hi, man. Thanks for the link. I’ll get to listen to that now that I’m back to sitting in a chair rather than in a car seat. And now I’ve just seen your Jon Rafman shares too. Thanks triply! Hope you’re good. ** Dominik, Hi, Dominik! The trip was terrific. Oh, favorite park … hard to choose actually. They were all excellent in their own ways. Europapark is giant and beautifully, crazily laid out with solid rides. Tripsdrill, possibly my favorite, is an older park, super imaginatively themed on a low budget, with maybe the best log/water ride ever. It was the big surprise. Phantasialand is fantastic, yeah. Not huge, size-wise, but totally packed with great rides, and extremely beautifully themed, very otherworldly, and with two of the best coasters I’ve ridden: Taron and Black Mamba. Excellent! Wunderland Kalkar is tiny and basically for kids, but it was much sweeter and nice to be inside than I’d imagined. Dusseldorf was good. We just walked all over and looked at art all day then drove out of town a ways to climb around on this. My tooth strangely all but stopped hurting, which makes no sense but is much appreciated. I guess I should still go to the dentist appointment tomorrow, but I don’t want to. You sound extremely inspired and great! I love your idea of starting that private practice. How do you do that? Do you just advertise your services, or do you need to get, I don’t know, a certificate or anything? Would you do it at your place or find a place to do it? It seems like a really great idea to me! Tell me more! I’m good. Zac and I have to immediately get to work on the TV script revisions. Not looking forward to that whatsoever, but it’s not a choice. So that’s going to be a lot of my week, I think. And you? ** Master James, Hi, welcome. Well, I do certain things to disguise/protect the identities and locations of the slaves. I see those posts as a text/image exercise/exploration regarding eroticism and language and and flirting and how self-presentation works in that particular situation, and I feel uncomfortable about the idea of facilitating meet-ups because that’s not my interest at all. So, yes, I make the slaves hard to find. Not impossible to find, mind you. ** Jamie, Hi, J! The trip was excellent, thank you. Highlight: mm, not one. Tripsdrill was the big surprise and probably the funnest experience in general. Oh, at the last minute, we managed to get a room at Phantasialand’s sold-out and pretty amazing theme hotel the Ling Bao, and that was cool. Lowlight? Not really, strangely enough. Nothing that wasn’t at least okay. Yeah, it’s weird: the site/GoDaddy was acting the most horrible and problematic ever the first few days of the trip after being generally awful for a week, but, as of last night, knock on the rarest wood, it’s been behaving normally and well. Strange. The Japanese slaves: Not a new site, I just found a page on a usual site where someone listed their supposed slaves’ success rate at auction. Quite odd. I’m happy you’re one of those people who can function in a curious and cogent and entertaining manner on little sleep. I just all but shut down above my neck. Hannah’s already off to Brussels. That must be disconcerting and sad. Or are you digging the extra room? While being sad, I mean. My only return plans are the TV script work, ugh. Ideally, ha ha, it should consume my week, ugh. May your Monday be like a million Saturdays piled up so high you can see it from the space station. Mellow yellow love, Dennis. ** Jeff J, Hey! Great to see you, man! Sorry as ever about the blog accessing issues. Hopefully one of these days I’ll find a way to right that ship. I can imagine you’re swamped! So soon! Scary for you, def., but don’t be scared. It’s going to go great! Great book, great publisher, great you … you’re all set. I’m good. The ‘PGL’ unrolling is okay, but we’re having some very annoying issues at the moment that I can’t discuss and that will hopefully get resolved asap. I’m back to work on the ARTE TV script today. Other than the drudgery of the work ahead, all is going well on that front. Looks like a very possible green light at the moment. I do like Lewis Klahr. Have I done a post about his work? Maybe not. I’ll see if I can. ** Okay. Halloween’s grip on this blog continues in the form of a gig that I hope is highly suitable for the season. Blast it, if you want my opinion. See you tomorrow.


  1. Currently listening to Spiritflesh, and was about to rapidly scroll down and say “hey, you should to Spiritflesh, had it on repeat recently, and it rules.”

    Then I noticed they were on the end of the list, lol. You got us covered.

  2. Testing.



    (having trouble posting comments here.)

    Let’s see…

  3. Hey, I’ve actually heard of a few of these groups… a nice change of pace!

    I’m hoping that now it’s October the Barnes & Noble I work at will switch over to its Halloween music playlist. Some years they’re good about that, other years not so much.

    Some recent albums I’ve been listening to include the new Aphex Twin EP, Cher’s ABBA covers album… I’ve also begun relistening to DIRT by Alice in Chains, which is actually a pretty good album. I’ve also ordered the Lil Xan LP, despite everyone I know saying how awful it is (which, naturally, has only made me more curious).

  4. dennis dennis dennis-

    hi buddy. long time no see. how’s tricks?

    things have been… pretty shitty actually. i probably need to start seeing a shrink because i’m seriously so depressed that i spend like a day a week at least in bed just trying not to cry and i hate leaving the house and i hate my job and i might be moving to big bear lake soon which is the lone bright spot in an overwhleming darkness.

    are you back in paris for the time being? i might be going to LA at the end of the month with some friends.

    good picks today. i still drop in to read the blog even when i can’t be bothered to say hey. you hear the new spzd album? i really like it. i know it’s nothing experimental or noisy, but i think pierce has really hit a great place with his songwriting. it’s straightforward. if i may, i’d like to strongly recommend checking out the group priests. they’re a female fronted kinda punky band from DC. really great stuff.

    i am waiting semi-patiently for a review copy of destroy all monsters, which i am really looking forward to.

    i hope everything is lovely on yr end. did i mention i’ve started playing guitar and writing songs again for literally the first time in like five years? in the process of putting a band together right now. it’s going slowly, like everything does. talk soon. love.


  5. Hi!!

    God, all the parks sound fascinating – I’m so glad the whole trip was this fantastic! Including the Dusseldorf part. The Magic Mountain looks so cool! And it looks like even your tooth appreciated the happenings! Though it’d probably still be a wise idea to go to the appointment, yeah…

    Legally, I can start a private practice with my degree. It’s usually a bit hard to find clients at first, being virtually nameless in the field, but that’s why I’d primarily like to build on my connections in trans circles at the beginning. I’d like to rent a room – I’m not really into the idea of inviting everyone to my home. Of course, it also depends on the extra cost it means. Mh. I have TONS of work to do before I can say, at least half-confidently, that I’m ready to start and it’s pretty hard to find the time while working in the shop. (But really, I want to quit so miserably. Especially now that I have this new idea. However, I’ll also need the money, probably more than ever before, so I’m trying to make myself stay ’til the end of December.)

    Uh, the TV script revisions… Have you already started? Or did you give yourself one last free day before plunging back?
    The shop’s still a chaotic, super-busy mess so I guess my week’s gonna be tons of exhaustingly similar phone calls and customers and stolen moments before sleep after work. … Not exactly inspiring, eh…
    If you go to the dentist tomorrow, may the Force be with you! And otherwise too, for that matter. See you on Friday, Dennis!!

  6. Amphibiouspeter

    October 1, 2018 at 8:31 pm

    Oh man Halloween noise gig!! Puce Mary is always a good shout. I love how much Halloween stuff you put up here, we tend to think of all the decorations and stuff as more of an American thing – we have it over here but don’t go as all out. I really love this time of year though, gets dark early, walking out when it’s getting a bit colder. There’s something super exciting about that atmosphere.

    Sorry I’ve been off for a bit, and didn’t make your showing in London. How did it go? I’ve just started a new job and looking for a flat so things are a bit up in the air atm. Right now am locked out of my house so sitting in a pub – another thing that fits this time of year perfectly!

    You have a great day. 🙂

  7. Hey Dennington, nice to have you back.
    Thanks for the gig. I find that Bliss Signal track quite intriguing. It’s almost slippery. The Pucy Mary track is as excellent as everything I’ve heard from that act so far. I’d so like to catch her live.
    Your trip sounds great. My brother went to Phantasialand on a school trip in the 80s, I remembered when I saw that name. I was so jealous.
    The lack of sleep catches up with me every few days and I feel nuts for a day, so I don’t get away scot free, sadly. Today I have the added joy of prepping for my capsule endoscopy, which I think I told you about, where I’m swallowing a capsule in the form of a pill which will beam out pics of my insides. The prep is eating nothing for 24 hours and drinking three litres of this absolutely vile tasting liquid which then makes you run to the bathroom. I feel shitty, but at 2 pm tomorrow it’ll be done and I’ll be eating and drinking like crazy. And I’ve been Googling cam-pills and they look kind of cool.
    It’s funny not having Hannah here. The place is a bit flat. She’s had a good first day though. I do get lots of writing done when she’s not here though, so that’s the plus, I guess.
    How are you feeling about the TV script? A little renewed enthusiasm after the last positive meeting?
    Anything else on today?
    May your day be the kind of day that folk write poems and compose lullabies about.
    Mind-reading love,

  8. Hey I dig that Spiritflesh track, not heard of them before and it’s good to hear Bristol still hosting worthwhile musical projects. May not be very Halloweeny but I got the Tim Hecker – Konoyo LP last week and am enjoying it a whole lot. To me it’s up there with his Ravedeath, 1972 masterwork in the electronic/drone canon and that is high praise indeed. I also have the Robert Rental album of early demos on Optimo Music in the post so I look forward to that.

    The Writing Short Stories course that I signed up for starts on 6th November and lasts for 6 weeks so there’s still a bit of time to go yet, while the Advanced Screenprinting thing at the DCA is on the 15th December. A few weeks ago I saw the Dundee Visual Artists Award people give a talk at the college and I asked them if it’s possible to apply for funding for writing projects. Their reply was that the proposal has to have some kind of visual art element to it, so I’m thinking these courses could instigate some sort of text/image hybrid? For creative stuff I do find that some structure or deadline is beneficial.

  9. Hey Dennis – Thoroughly enjoyed this post. Among the musicians totally new to me, Ital Tek and Ipek Gorgun jumped out especially. Are you familiar with either of their albums in full?

    Glad to hear things are going well with the ARTE script and hope the PGL issues get resolved right away.

    I recently saw the new version of ‘Tree of Life’ that Malick created for Criterion – have you seen it, by any chance? There’s many remarkable scenes among the new hour of footage that’s been woven into the film, though since most of it involves the childhood scenes it really shifts the overall shape of the movie and oddly made it feel more conventional to me, more of a memory piece than the free-associative cosmic whatsit of the original. Fascinating and worth checking out, in any case.

    I don’t think I told you, but I finally got Recollets lined up for coming to Paris for the grant to check out Garrel and Grandrieux films — it’ll happen in April and I’m very excited.

    Any chance you have time to talk via Skype in the next week or two? Love to pick your brain on a few things and also pass along some info from Michael Silverblatt.

  10. Testing.

  11. The Pig Destroyer and Jesus Piece songs make a great one-two punch. Did you ever hear Imperial Triumphant, because it seems to me like they have a great vibe for this day?

    I have started feeling much better today. I think the virus that caused my sore throat cleared up. My left ear is still ringing, my hearing is muffled and it hurt when I lay down last night. I hope that ends very soon.

    FIRE MUSIC is about 20 minutes’ shorter than the NYFF’s program notes indicated, but a good guide through the heyday of free jazz in the 1960s, starting with Ornette and quickly proceeding to Cecil Taylor and Eric Dolphy and suggesting that Coltrane’s post-A LOVE SUPREME albums gave the sub-genre a new respectability that his death unfortunately cut short. Alas, it ends very abruptly, with a dis of Wynton Marsalis and Ken Burns that doesn’t mention them by name but also doesn’t mention any contemporary musicians carrying on the legacy of free jazz. There is a mixture of interviews and ’60s concert footage, taken from about 20 different films.

  12. Hey Dennis, I’m the Gordon Lish from hell for the slaves, their guests, and Tim Mohr. I’ll try to be kinder and gentler.

    Sounds like the German trip worked its magic. I have a little trip coming up, but it’s just Chicago.

    Straight Panic is great fun in that old-school power electronics mode. And I do approve of the name, of course.

    “Resolution” is actually from 2012, and should be available from various online sources. “The Endless”, by the same team, was making the arthouse rounds here; I see it’s also available on Amazon now.

    Will see Michael Gira solo tomorrow, yay.


  13. Shane Christmass

    October 2, 2018 at 7:11 am

    Everything’s great atm!

    Reading a Robert Silverberg pulp crime novel from 1962 – Blood on the Mink.

    I needed something ‘light’ after just finishing Genesis P-Orridges new Brion Gysin tome. It’s a big doorstop of a book published by Carl Abrahamsson.

    Gonna put this Halloween Gig into Spotify as a playlist.

    Mattress Grave has a new album out btw – ‪ http://mattressgrave.bandcamp.com/album/diamondnoid-two-sophont‬

  14. Dennis, excellent collection today! Would’ve loved to have seen Psycho Las Vegas. I think Boris was playing there too. They’re all doing some recording around here this week, see updates about it here and there. Yes, absolutely, pity you couldn’t make it out for CROWD! I can’t get down to Kyoto to see it either unfortunately. That’s very exciting about your new writing. I certainty hope it leads to something widely available. Yeah, I have been getting some writing done. Not as much as I’d wanted to over the end of summer. Things got a bit hectic with the kiddo getting a last-minute place at international school. But almost entirely dug my way through a wall of parts I’d been planning and thinking about for ages but wasn’t getting down for some reason or other.

  15. OMG

    Honored to be in such esteemed company! Actually just played a fest PUCE MARY was on in Minnesota. She was, understandably, the highlight of the weekend, and deservedly so.

    Dennis, I still would love to send you a copy of CYCLE. Or, if you’re not a “vinyl” person, I could make you a special edition cassette version? Let me know, regardless!


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