The psychedelic ghosts of black metal

I was totally full of lies last time, and for that I must apologize. I have neglected my blog duties for all of my five or six faithful followers.
Seriously though, I did get a new computer but I still don’t have internet access or the files from my dead computer. (update: I just retrieved the files from the old computer) Oh well, I will push on without it. I mean it this time.

Okay, so I picked up a copy of SUNNO))) & UlverTerrestrials on Southern Lord vinyl. I recommend getting it, but I wouldn’t get my hopes up of finding a vinyl copy unless you already have it, not cheaply anyway. Sorry. According to the little bit of info on the back cover (there are no interior liner notes) Terrestrials was conceived between 2008-2012, presumably in-between working on their individual releases and many side projects. Stephen O’Malley is involved in another release separate from SUNNO))) that I also acquired, I’ll get to it later. So that’s about it for the back cover other than a listing of names of those involved, a transcript of the few lyrics used on Eternal Return, and a short description of the cover image which is kind of cool. It is a portrait of the sun in the wavelength of hydrogen alpha light (656.3 nm in the deep red) taken on June 10, 2012.
Do not be confused, this is not metal of any sort, black or otherwise, despite being created in Norway and both bands being associated with that arena of sound. I use the word sound, because I think that the preponderance of people have a definition of music that fits only a portion of musical output, but I will refrain from getting off on a tangent about that as I am so prone to do in my, what some might sometimes call turgid, ramblings. (Nathan would probably say that the very use of the word turgid proves the point.) Black metal is an oft overlooked sub category too readily dismissed by most because of the corpse paint theatrics and associations to murders and church burnings previously carried out by just a few members of this small community and their sycophantic devotees. Which for most of them being overlooked is just fine. People want to become a part of a subculture for a reason, and it certainly is not to fit in with the rest of society. I would like to stress that in areas such as this genre of metal that there are many musicians that have felt too confined by it’s murky and far too shallow depths. These artists have forged onward into new sonic landscapes, Ulver is one of those bands. We have a need to categorize things in our attempts to understand them and draw connections, and in most cases this is fine and even preferable. But the unavoidable drawback of this process is that evolving sounds suffer the fate of being lumped in with a group simply because a category does not exist for which they are truly suited and those lines of connections end up being chains. So you can clearly understand why someone would not want to be permanently yoked to a moniker with such negative connotations which only functions to their detriment. (like “punk” music – I apologize to all of you that enjoy punk music, but it is to me unlistenable crap. I will not be swayed.) Until some new category can be established, accepted, and put into wide usage, (like the term post-punk) some of these guys are stuck with that albatross, black metal. So we’ve fully established that this isn’t black metal. Good, now we can move along.

I assume that anyone bothering to read this has probably expanded their musical palette enough that I won’t need to go into great detail about the music, nor will they be totally offended if I just say it’s good, only to then listen to it and have their ears bleed in response because they are only acclimated to listening to Bieber all day. Don’t get me wrong, if you want to listen to Bieber all day that is your choice, it’s just not mine.

The sound of this release is more akin to Ulver than SUNNO))) if you are familiar with both of them. It is more orchestral and atmospheric with just a few brief moments of that warbling low end crush humming through the horns of Let There Be Light, but without the oppressiveness of The Grimmrobe Demos, and far more melodic. The atmospheric quality of it along with the very minor use of vocals, imbues it with a sort of soundtrack feel. As I am listening to it right now, it is reminding me somewhat of the more drone laden portions of GYBE! F# A# Infinity. I’m sure that that is a reference to which most people can relate.

While I am on the subject of soundtracks, kind of, the other Stephen O’Malley related album that I picked up is Ambarchi O’Malley DunnShade Theme From Kairos. Stephen O’Malley as I have already mentioned, is a member of SUNNO))), Oren Ambarchi while not a member, is a regular collaborator and is often involved in live performances with SUNNO))). Randall Dunn is a producer and sound engineer that has worked with many musicians including SUNNO))) and fellow noise makers Earth and Boris. As a musician he is a founding member of the group Master Musicians of Bukkake, a truly horrible name, I know.

http://alexisds.com/

The story behind this release is that the music was created for raw footage of Alexis Destoop’s film Kairos. Now whether intentional or not, Destoop’s take is that this allows for “a blurring of the line between diegetic and non-diegetic sound and a questioning of the intricate relationship between music and the creation of a fictitious universe.” This really sounds to me like it might just be some of the art school bs that they teach you to spout off when asked the rationale behind something that you’ve done that in reality had no predetermined reasoning behind it. Considering that the film’s premise is that an apocalyptic event called the Great Temporal Catastrophe has brought an end to linear time, it seems more than apropriate to, after the fact, attach meaning to something that in all probability was done out of sheer necessity based on the time constraints of the parties involved rather than actual artistic purposes. Either way, it’s an intriguing concept and maybe it’s a really good film or it could just be another Koyaanisqatsi. I’m not saying that Koyaanisqatsi is a bad film, it’s just one of those things that you can’t really enjoy for an hour and a half unless you are really high or have convinced yourself that it is high art and deserves to be patiently and reverently viewed to accumulate your pretentious points. I would personally much rather waste my time on Fulci’s City of the Living Dead (aka Gates of Hell) or The Beyond (aka Seven Doors of Death) to accumulate points for my horror fan merit badges. Although it has long been a dream of mine to be able to create an intelligent artistic horror film. I’ll just keep dreaming I suppose, but in the meantime, somebody seriously needs to take the cameras away from all of the vapid Korn listening morons that seem to be the only ones dedicated to making horror films anymore. Either that or someone needs to put a bullet in the head of whichever dolt it is at Lionsgate that keeps distributing all of this crap. It used to be that you could kind of have a sense of what you were going to be subjected to based on the distributor and possibly the artwork, but that is long since a thing of the past. Now the artwork has been homogenized into a lackluster mess of David Carson grunge style Photoshopped nonsense, but even that is giving it too much credit; David Carson was original in his time and these idiots wouldn’t even be on par with his worst work on their very best day. And since it is all the same jokers making the artwork for all of this stuff, even the really good films (a rarity these days I’ll admit) are camouflaged with this same sad cover art making it impossible to discern a straight to video release shot on someone’s handheld in their backyard from a top-notch French film like Room of Death (La Chambre des Morts.) At least Room of Death is a Canal+ and IFC film, which to me still holds some clout unlike the aforementioned Lionsgate, so that beyond the stupid cover art I was able to look at the back and see that it might be at least watchable before I picked it up.

2092390

Look at that crappy US cover versus the one of the French versions. Why would you do that?

Well, I’ve gotten way off the point. I told you I’m prone to doing that especially if you get me on the subject of movies. I just watched two films that perfectly encapsulate the exact problem that I have been writing about here, maybe I will do another post and expound on that since I don’t feel I have to be exclusive to music here.
Back on point, Shade Themes from Kairos is probably my favorite of the two albums although I still really enjoy Terrestrials. You can get the vinyl of Shade Theme from Drag City for a somewhat modest $25 for a gatefold double LP and I believe Terrestrials is still available from Southern Lord in an mp3 or CD format. You might get lucky and find a vinyl copy at your local record shop though if you hurry. I know the one I got mine from still had a copy the last time I was there although I informed the person that I was shopping with that they should buy it, and they did. So don’t ask me where I got it because you won’t find it there anymore. Oh, there is also a bandcamp site from which to buy the SUNNO))) & Ulver album, that’s from where the above link came.

Yay! Bandcamp!

http://sunnulversl.bandcamp.com/

Since, we are on a somewhat similar topic, there is yet another Nordvargr release that everyone needs. I’m sorry if it seems like I am constantly inundating you guys with Nordvargr stuff, but I really like it. In addition, this is an EP of unreleased and re-worked material from For the Blood is the Life which is one of my absolute favorite Nordvargr releases. Go get it.

Later

— JS

My mac has reaped it’s destruction

Well my Mac is pretty much useless at this point, I haven’t gotten it to work for more than a month now. So I’m probably going to have to forfeit all of the posts that I had typed out and ready to go, which makes me fairly sad. I had several pages that I spent quite a bit of time working out. Oh well.

I do have some good news though, a very generous patron is donating a computer to the cause and I should be back on track within the next week.

In the meantime, there is yet another Nordvargr release. Yay! Go buy it.

http://nordvargr.bandcamp.com/album/wermland-atonal-1

Also Ici d’ailleurs has released a stop motion video for Matt ElliottReap What You Sow from the album ‘Only Myocardial Infarction Can Break Your Heart.’ Which is doubly cool because I love stop motion animation and of course Matt Elliott.

I have a collection of random Matt Elliott songs from studio sessions that I am going to put up for you guys but I want make an album cover for it first. I also have one for Chelsea Wolfe, so you all can look forward to that as well.

My computer is sad, but Nordvargr makes me happy.

Hi,

I have a bunch of posts typed up and ready to go but my computer has decided to flake out on me, since all the files are currently stored there I can’t do anything about it right now. I will try to retrieve it this weekend so I can get some of it up for you. In the meantime I am doing this on a machine I am very unfamiliar with hence the hash mark instead of an actual apostrophe in the previous sentence (It is much easier with my mac. I do not know the shortcuts on a pc. Oh well.) I just previewed this and apparently WordPress uses dumb quotes so it looks correct anyway. God forbid anyone actually know how to type something without the computer telling you how to do it correctly. Anyway, I shouldn’t start getting into a tirade about the built-in stupidity and laziness of everything around us (they don’t even use words in manuals anymore, it might offend someone who can’t read.)

In other news, I have received a couple of emails informing me that there are some new Nordvargr releases to get at his bandcamp site.

Go buy them, seriously. Go do this.

There is another track on that last one but it is not in the streaming stuff. You will have to buy it if you want it, which you do.

Later,

JS

Sugarbread

So I have something else for you.
Soap&SkinSugarbread
It’s just an ep, but it gives a pretty good idea of what the music is all about. I really like ep’s.
You have really got to watch this video for the title track, it’ll scar you, and if you are anything like me (lazy and sad?) you will have that interminable phrase running through your head until your death.
When you close your eyes to sleep,
“Try to break one’s heart in perpetuity”
On your drive to work,
“Try to break one’s heart in perpetuity”
When you lean in to kiss your wife,
“Try to break one’s heart in perpetuity”
It will be there.


Seriously though, I don’t have a wife or a job nor do I sleep, but if I did I’m certain that that song would plague my thoughts at those moments. Maybe this song will finally unseat that Yaz song Situation that has been inexplicably invading my thoughts for the last decade or so.
Anyway, I don’t have a lot of info to give you about Soap&Skin that is going to mean a whole lot to you. It’s another one of those bands that isn’t a band at all, basically just a young weird talented Austrian girl named Anja Plaschg, and that this release is on PIAS (Play It Again Sam Records). Funny enough I had seen PIAS listed on other releases in the recent past and did not realize that it was in actuality Play It Again Sam, I had no idea that they were even still around. I can’t help but think of Front 242 and Wax Trax every time. Maybe it’s that tenuous connection that made me presume that they had gone the same way as the two aforementioned now defunct institutions. (Actually I think Front 242 might still be around surprisingly) Sorry, I tend to go off on a lot of tangents. So, she has two full LPs, Lovetune For Vacuum, her first, which is where I first discovered her while reading about it’s release on The End Of Being website (theendofbeing.com), and Narrow.
I probably shouldn’t type these horrible words for fear that they will turn everyone away from Soap&Skin forever, but it kind of reminds me of Tori Amos (God know why), with one very very important distinction, I like Soap&Skin. There is a hint of Miranda Sex Garden thrown in there, but that just might be because it is a bunch of weird German women.
You can just forget everything I just typed and listen to the music, draw your own conclusions. You probably won’t read this anyway.

Posthumous COIL

File:Coil band.jpg

I was reading through my backlog of email and came across something from Jon Whitney at Brainwashed that I found interesting and so thought I should share it with all of you fine people. Apparently he had been working with Peter Christopherson back in 2010 on several videos that were intended to be included as enhanced content for  COIL reissues. Unfortunately, Peter passed away on November 24th of that year and all the COIL releases and reissues seem to be in a state of limbo. According to Jon’s email, Peter hated Youtube due to the low video quality and so the videos have never been uploaded, until now. Jon has compiled a playlist of the videos and uploaded it now that the quality is a bit higher and I suppose also because Peter is not available to protest.

Thanks Jon.

Have fun with this, and don’t do drugs people.

He also uploaded all of the video accompaniment to Jack Dangers – Bathyscaphe Trieste on Primary Numbers.

http://primary-numbers.com

Thanks again Jon.

What a swell guy.

There is an interesting reader’s poll of the best 100 albums of 2013 on the brainwashed site and there are a few albums in there that I have slated for some upcoming posts. You should all go check it out and poke around in there for a while. I’ve found lots of interesting things on Brainwashed over the years and it has grown immensely, the wealth of information is a bit overwhelming.

http://www.brainwashed.com/

Oh, and as a side note, my official art blog, the sister site to this one, will be up and running very soon. Now to get back to this logo that I am supposed to be working on.

Until next time,

JS

Winter Music

Some of you might have heard me talk about this before but I’m going to write about it anyway, particularly since a few of us are going to be seeing Mark Kozelek tomorrow evening. Based on his output over the past few years, I think Mr. Kozelek is gradually turning into James Taylor. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not complaining, his music is still beautifully written and performed but he has moved almost entirely away from the full instrumentation of Red House Painters or even the earlier Sun Kil Moon releases to the point that nearly everything, whether it be a Sun Kil Moon release or a solo release, is all just him alone with a guitar (what title it bears appears to be rather arbitrary at this point.) Honestly I was quite surprised to see that Among The Leaves actually bears the Sun Kil Moon moniker, although listening through it again as I am typing this, there are few songs here that are slightly more involved than anything from the Admiral Fell Promises album, such as The Moderately Talented Yet Attractive Young Woman VS. The Exceptionally Talented Yet Not So Attractive Middle Aged Man (and yes, that is all one title.) For anyone familiar with the Red House Painters catalog you might notice that distinctive RHP percussion sound on this one, which I guess shouldn’t be too surprising considering some of the old RHP crew have been with him all along although in an obviously limited capacity. Overall Among The Leaves is, to me, a good, solid album which I’m sure will continue to grow on me with subsequent listening, but I really miss the days of Mark with a real band and fully fleshed out songs whereas some of this newer stuff can sound like very well produced sketches. Either way, I still love you Mark.

Here is Black Kite, the closer from Sun Kil Moon – Among The Leaves.

Now take a listen to Last Tide/Floating from Sun Kil Moon – Ghosts Of The Great Highway.

Strangely that song is split into two tracks on the album despite the fact that it clearly is meant to be played together as one song.

And finally, have a listen to Moments, from Red House Painters – Ocean Beach.

Okay, so if you listened to all of that then you see what I’m talking about.

Anyway, there you have it, it’s cold outside and it seemed like some cold weather music was in order. I don’t know if anyone else is like me, but certain  bands or songs just seem to be as synonymous with winter as heavy coats, like anything from Red House Painters. (Ocean Beach strangely has the ability to transcend the winter album to be an ‘at the lake’ album as well.)

Pre-blog post (11.01.13)

November 1st, 2013

After trying very unsuccessfully over the past two hours using every electronic device at my disposal to watch episodes of Sleepy Hollow that I have missed, I have succumbed to the despair and exasperation that I will never see those episodes as the universe has once again conspired against me. You may wonder why the universe would assail me with such paltry things, well, I’m here to tell you that that is exactly what it does in order to destroy you. You are welcome.
Anyway, I fought off the urge to kill someone after being so vexed by the universe in lieu of doing something moderately more productive; I’ll vent my spleen to you fellow readers to suppress my aggravation and in the process drop some new(relative) music for you.

So Halloween was yesterday, Samhain and the first day of Día de los Muertos is today which means darkness shall come your way dear reader.

Has anyone listened to Umberto? It is absolutely some of the best horror inspired music out there, on par with some of the better Goblin stuff, only a bit more contemporary. I use that term loosely though as it is clearly made to inspire an older era of film and music.

Selection from: Umberto – From the Grave

Just listen to that and tell me that you can’t close your eyes and see the lovely Janet Agren being painted with gold by a bunch of busty natives or grisly cannibals disemboweling a poor defenseless european porn actress employing her skills in a “real” acting gig.
I have this album on vinyl but it is another one of those that didn’t initially come with a music download coupon to my chagrin. If you like it you can check out some other samples and possibly purchase some stuff at the bandcamp site at:

http://www.umberto.bandcamp.com

I do have have Umberto – Prophecy of the Black Widow for you. So give it a listen and then go give ’em some money, or me, whoever. I won’t judge.

I went to the art museum last night and watched Night of the Living Dead so I feel more than compelled to post this next selection.

Brighter Death Now – Great Death I / Great Death II

This is Roger Karmanik the founder of Cold Meat Industries creating some very Romero inspired/derived sounds. I don’t listen to this as much anymore, I used to listen to it quite a bit a few years back when I was listening to much more power electronics and noise stuff. There is a third installment of this series but the only way you could get it was to send in a certificate found in the Great Death I & II box-set. I have the box and the certificate, but that does little good for procuring the music now (is it music?) since it was released many years ago(1994). I seriously doubt that it would still be honored.

Henrik Nordvargr Björkk, aka Nordvargr or Goatvargr or Marvargr, kind of depending on the style of the release, is also part of half a dozen other bands such as Mz.412FolkstormToroidh, etc.
I love this guy. I am always listening to this stuff when I work. The music itself is some of the most soothing and layered ambient sounds at times blended with very dark black metal which works quite nicely, as is the case with The Betrayal of Light. Great album. Also he is capable of creating some of the most stomach churning, disquieting, unsettling, however you want to describe it bleak amazing music, also almost danceable at times.
In keeping with the theme here:

Henrik Nordvargr Björkk – The Dead Never Sleep

Hahahaha, my Dad just heard some of this album playing and then with a confused look started examining the ceiling fan because he thought it was bearings grinding.
Oh, Pa-pah.

Nordvargr also has a bandcamp site where you can and should buy some of the later stuff.

http://www.nordvargr.bandcamp.com

Most of the older material is long out of print and generally wasn’t widely available to begin with. Yeah, another one of those.

I have been thinking that to make this a little easier I am going to switch over to a blog type setup that way people can comment and interact far easier, or at all. (Yeah I’m talking to you!) We’ll all just keep trading music the same way though. It should simplify things, I hope.

OH, and last minute here I decided to give you guys something a little more musical that sort of ties in with all of these other selections.

Nadja – Touched

This is the earlier version, not the re-recorded version released later. I actually kind of prefer this version because it is a little more metally than the newer version and most of their other recordings, more akin to Godflesh or JESU (Justin Broadrick), but still has that droney atmospheric post-rockish sound, kind of like some of the MAIN (Robert Hampson) releases, since I am restricting myself to only Godflesh related artists as reference points for some reason. So I think there is something here that will appeal to most of you on some level. I would tell you all to go and buy it but it’s a very slim chance that you would even be able to find it and even if you did to be willing to part with the amount of cash that would likely be asked for this gem. You can still find the newer version in mp3 format from sellers like amazon, but even that version is going for around $30+++ for a hardcopy. If you are going to buy anything though I strongly urge you to go to their bandcamp site and purchase it directly from the artist, Amazon makes enough money without any more help from me.
I’m a big fan of bandcamp and so should you be.

http://www.nadja.bandcamp.com

If you are a completist, don’t even get started. The number of Aidan Baker and Leah Buckareff releases, individually and all the related works is stupid big. The number of Nadja releases alone is daunting, just trying to collect only Nadja and ignoring everything else would be nigh impossible.

Okay, bye for now.

– J. Sparks

Pre-blog post (09.13.13)

September 13th, 2013

Hello everyone and happy Friday the 13th!! (You guys probably won’t see it because I am doubtful that the font is embedded and you will be unlikely to have it on your own machines, but I used the Friday the 13th font for that. If I cared that much I could make it visible to everyone, but it doesn’t seem that important. Use your imagination, you lazy bums.)

I’m not spending a lot of time on this one because I want to get something out today and I honestly don’t have a ton of time. It’s mostly random stuff.
I trust that everyone has picked up all that they want from the previous posts because it‘s gone now. I gave everybody an extra two weeks after the deadline for when I was taking everything down, so no whining if you missed something.

So first up, Chris asked if anyone wanted Yank Crime, Nathan said yes, but Chris couldn’t find it. Here it is:
Drive Like Jehu – Yank Crime

I wanted to put up something that I hadn’t already traded with Greg. So here is:
My Bloody Valentine – M B V
This is the latest album after almost 20 years of waiting, so enjoy it, you may not get another out of them. Sorry if you already have it Greg.

Alex and I are heading out this evening to see Death in June. They are playing at Infest in Austin tomorrow night. So I thought I would drop a little classic DIJ bomb on ya’ll.
Death In June – Brown Book

I noticed that this album had almost eighty!! plays on my itunes, I obviously like this a lot. It is one of those that I like to play while I am drawing, and this might sound weird but I like to sleep to it occasionally as well. You guys need something creepy for Friday the Thirteenth anyway. So here you go:
Elegi – Sistereis

I‘ll be back soon with new stuff.

– J. Sparks

Pre-blog post (08.07.13)

August 7th, 2013

Hello to anyone reading this. I am cramming it all in here to finish up the This Mortal Coil series.

So the next song from the album, if you have been keeping track, is number 7:
This Mortal Coil – Another Day
I’m not going to bog you down with a ton of info on here as I have tended to do on some of the previous posts. This is a cover of a song by Roy Harper which is performed by Elizabeth Fraser and Robin Guthrie (Cocteau Twins). Roy Harper is probably most well known for having worked with Jimmy Page although his stuff is not rock at all, mostly folk songs. The only song on the album that I am giving you that resembles rock is actually pretty bad. It’s the last track on the album, “Hell’s Angels,” unfortunately it really leaves a bad taste after an otherwise well put together and fluid album. I’ve read some apologists for his crappy throw away songs, defending them as somehow making some kind of statement, but I’m not buying it, I want enjoyable music.
Anyway, here it is, and I might just be bogging you down despite the aforementioned claim that I wouldn’t. I’m trying to keep it minimal.
Here it is:
Roy Harper – Flat, Baroque and Berserk

Song eight is:
This Mortal Coil – Waves Become Wings
Okay, this one is basically just Lisa Gerrard of Dead Can Dance doing her typical thing, although it has more of a Cocteau Twins feel to it than Dead Can Dance, and for that it is better. On it’s own, I am not a big fan, but taken as a whole with the rest of the album it fits in nicely, especially with the Simon Raymonde song that follows it up. As you can probably tell from previous comments in this and other posts, the flow of an album is rather important to me. I’m going to give you the first disc of:
Dead Can Dance – 1981– ’98
The funny thing is that I am giving this as an example because it is more enjoyable to me than a lot of their other material, partially because there is a lot more of Brendan Perry’s vocal in this as well as more traditional songs even though I’m doing it in response to a song sung by Lisa. Most of their later material focuses on Lisa’s vocals and songs that jump around from world music to chanting and medieval sounding stuff. If I had my way I would put Brendan in the lead and have them stick to the structure of this early stuff, which is a sentiment probably shared by Glen Johnson, considering that he got Brendan Perry and Peter Ulrich of Dead Can Dance, conspicuously without Lisa Gerrard, for Piano Magic’s album Ovations. The result of the collaboration is a good example of what DCD could (should) have been, but sadly never were. Lisa doesn’t have a bad voice, but her Enya type moaning and chanting can become annoying, just sing words already. Gahhh!! There are actually two more discs in this box set, but I don’t want to fill up all this space with a bunch of material, that I honestly don’t think anyone is going to like that much despite how much it pains me to post something incomplete. If you guys want the rest I can put it up later, I just won’t do it now.

Up next is:
This Mortal Coil – Barramundi
This is some more instrumental noodling by Simon Raymonde, again of Cocteau Twins. I’m sure you guys have had enough of them by now and I don’t need to expound on this. So that is that.

Now we have:
This Mortal Coil – Dreams Made Flesh
Lisa Gerrard does some singing and banging on a dulcimer, and Bob’s your uncle.
To me this song goes for about a minute too long, I got the point at around the two minute mark.

Now back to something fun:
This Mortal Coil – Not Me
This song is a Colin Newman track that is now included on expanded versions of his album A-Z, I believe it was originally recorded for it but never actually made it onto the LP. If the vocals sound familiar that is because this is more or less a Wire album from back when they had a temporary split in 1980 and Colin went on to start a solo career with this being his first album. Incidentally another track from this album, “Alone,” was covered by This Mortal Coil on their second release, Filigree & Shadow, it also appears in the film, Silence of the Lambs.
The TMC version here is interpreted by Simon Raymonde (Cocteau Twins) and Robbie Grey of then 4AD’s Modern English, before they had any inclination of becoming the authors of the ubiquitous “I Melt With You.” Modern English was a much darker, more abrasive band back then more akin to Joy Division. It’s pretty good stuff, although I still think their second album, After the Snow, though losing a lot of the edge, still retains elements of the darkness from Mesh & Lace while beginning to formulate the pop sound that would produce their hit “I Melt With You,” and is a far more accessible, polished and overall better album.
Despite that I’m presenting:
Modern English – Mesh & Lace
I’m doing this because a lot of you are probably already very familiar with the material from After the Snow and also because I think it is very interesting to see where they were when they were starting out. Plus, some of these songs would be the material that was covered by This Mortal Coil on the Sixteen Days/Gathering Dust EP just before the release of It’ll End In Tears.

Lastly is a lovely song that closes the album very nicely:
This Mortal Coil – A Single Wish
Again we have Gordon Sharp pulling the album together with a somber, yet almost uplifting sounding track that washes you with warm feelings while telling you, “It’ll End In Tears.” Lovely, a perfect end to the album.

– J. Sparks

Pre-blog post (07.07.13)

July 7th, 2013

Hi, here’s some more stuff for the “It’ll End In Tears” series.

This Mortal Coil – Holocaust
Holocaust is another Big Star song from the 3rd: Sister Lovers album, which I put up before, so there isn’t much need to add to that unless you want a demo version that I have from one of the many collections available. Howard Devoto of Buzzcocks and Magazine fame is the person doing this interpretation.

Buzzcocks – Singles Going Steady

This Mortal Coil – Fyt
This one is an original piece, primarily Ivo playing with keyboards and drum machines. He’s allowed, the whole project is his conception as well as being the person behind 4AD’s existence, plus I feel like it flows well into the next song which is…

This Mortal Coil – Fond Affections
I absolutely love this song. It doesn’t fit, but it is another one of the songs that I want included in my memorial despite it being rather dismal, I still think it is beautiful. (You guys are taking notes, right?) The vocals are again, Gordon Sharp of Cindytalk and the song is a reinterpretation of a Rema Rema song. It is hard to believe that they are the same song when you put them side by side. Rema Rema only had this one release, and although you probably cannot tell from this output, every one of the members went on to do some pretty amazing stuff, but that is solely my opinion. One guy left to do Adam and the Ants, which is the reason behind Rema Rema disbanding. Another guy went on to be a part of Psychic TV, what was left was then Mark Cox, Gary Asquith and Mick Allen. Allen and Asquith had put the group together in the first place so they pulled in Danny Briottet to reform as MASS. This again was short lived, but Allen and Cox became The Wolfgang Press and Asquith and Briottet became Renegade Soundwave. Very cool. All of this was released through 4AD incidentally, so props to Ivo again.
So, I will put up:

Rema Rema – Wheel in the Roses

Just for kicks I’m going to also give you:

Mass – Labour of Love

Renegade Soundwave – Soundclash
This is RSW’s fantastic debut album. Very different from what was going on with Mass and Rema Rema.

The Wolfgang Press – Bird Wood Cage
This is TWP’s third album. The first two are darker and more akin to the Mass and Rema Rema stuff, so I thought I would give you something a bit different, plus this a really good album once you warm up to it.
I’m gonna sink my teeth into KANSAS…KANSAS…KANSAS…KANSAS…KANSAS…KANSAS…KANSAS…KANSAS
I listen to it a lot.

Also, so you can get a different perspective of Cindytalk, I’ll give you one of their later albums which has a beautiful opening track of Gordon singing acappella that is equally as impressive as Fond Affections.

Cindytalk – Wappinscaw

And then we have:

This Mortal Coil – The Last Ray
This one is essentially Ivo with the Cocteaus minus Elizabeth Fraser. And unless you guys are especially fond of Cocteau Twins, or put in a special request for more, I think I’m going to assume that the two albums I already posted are going to suffice for now.

I have some exciting new stuff to put up after I finish up with this series.

– J. Sparks