Believers Roast presents The Exquisite Corpse Game

The game of Consequences has a long history, probably in the order of two centuries, but quite possibly longer. Back when parlour games were essential lubricants to the passage of time, a progress not demarcated by the dazzling increments of the media age, such diversions had a far more prominent role in culture, and could provide a touchstone to other, less frivolous activities. The Surrealists, a diverse creative group committed to the elision of distinctions between the absurd and the profound, between work and play, between dream and waking, found the non-sequiturs …

Dementio 13 – Imperial Decimal (electronica)

Historically, the music released under the Dementio 13 aegis has been sufficiently consistent to sound like the work of a single project, but it has also developed and evolved in quite striking ways. The earlier work had a more signally electronic sound, and although it involved some remarkable explorations of texture, was notable more for the way that it manipulated relatively simple melodic and harmonic materials to create a very human, outward-looking creative landscape. It did this from a set of premises that might reasonably be expected to yield a more claustrophobic …

Various Artists – Album Roundup

You’ll hear a lot of familiar echoes in The Executioner’s Lover, but I can more or less promise that you haven’t heard anything quite like it. It opens with a song, ‘Half Life’, that is mainly arranged for ‘orchestral instruments’, but which also incorporates a rock rhythm section, which comes and goes at strategic moments; the song is a melodramatic number, which while it is not a ballad, has a narrative feel to it, like a piece from musical theatre or light opera. This is more or less the course followed by the album as a whole, but within those approximate bounds there is a huge diversity …

ZA! – Wanananai (experimental)

Post world-music is one term used to describe ZA! in their promotional materials; well, in the sense that such a term doesn’t rule out anything whatsoever, it’s not a bad characterisation! The music is experimental from start to finish, but it is the product of a process addressed directly to the business of music-making, in the same way that a completely conventional rock band or dance music producer would address themselves to it. Much experimental music emphasises the first term of that pair, which often produces interesting results, but could be criticised for placing the cart …

Blank Pages – Blank Pages (punk)

LPs look and feel superb. I don’t know if they looked and felt so great when they were the standard format for album length releases; I mean I remember loving them, for their artwork, the music they contained, the convenience of their spliff-making surfaces, but given that they were all there was (other than the sad, sad second-best of the pre-recorded cassette), I think I appreciate them a lot more now than I ever did before. When this one landed on my doormat (or next to the garden fence to be more accurate), it was a moment of great excitement and sensual fetishism; somehow …

Various Artists – Singles and EPs

A combination of electro-acoustic and programmed sounds are used here to create a sound that pays clear homage to African polyrhythmic percussion music, unpitched attacks mingling with sounds similar to idiophones or lamellophones, although they might come from almost any source. Then there are the synths, guitars and lo-fi samples… No Security Through Numbers is far too complex to glibly summarise with a juxtaposition of stylistic labels or a list of other bands I think you might have heard of. Towards the end of ‘Super Symmetry’ a series of fusionesque stabs appear

Diane Marie Kloba – It Is All An Illusion (avant-pop)

Diane Marie Kloba’s music, on this and the four albums that have preceded it over the past decade, is made out of recognisable stuff, and works in a recognisable way. Imagine a house: it’s made of bricks, timber, roof tiles, glass, all the usual stuff; it’s structurally sound and weatherproof; it has features, like doors, windows, gables and all the rest of it, that look like those features usually do. But imagine that they all meet at crazy angles; that the doors are upside-down, or leaning on their sides; that the conventional notion of visual proportion, that makes almost every domestic dwelling …

Alessandro ‘Saseko’ Motojima – Sendo Senshi: One Blade To Kill Them All (soundtrack)

Sendo Senshi is the title of an unreleased 1970s ‘whitexploitation’ movie, both directed and scored by Japanese-Italian Alessandro ‘Saseko’ Motojima. You can watch a trailer for it by clicking the link above; it promises violence, crime, gore, tits, shouting, sartorial intensity and all the garish, cartoonish traits of 1970s grindhouse cinema at its best. This is the kind of thing that inspired Quentin Tarantino in his epiphanous understanding that while style over substance could be amusing, style can also be substance, and be profound. That precise philosophy informs the music on this …

Various Artists – Album Roundup

Opening with an extended skit inspired by John Carpenter’s Darkstar, it’s obvious from the start that this Strange Gibberish mixtape is going to be heavy on the humour. It’s also heavy on the creativity and experimentation, with some of the beats straying well into avant-garde territory. It’s far too diverse for me to sum it up here, but the quality is consistently high; this is independent music, in every sense of the term, and most of the producers take a pretty freewheeling, eclectic approach to beat-making, while the lyrical themes are varied and unfettered. Although it’s often …

Cyberchump – Flutter And Flow (ambient rock)

Cyberchump, according to their website, ‘is an electro-organic duo that explores aural soundscapes of rhythm and moment’. While my rarely dormant inner pedant is keen to learn what other kinds of soundscape might exist, this gives a fair sense of the textures to be heard on Flutter And Flow. The music is far from ambient; it has a strong skeletal structure, but it is clearly directed at the exploration of atmosphere, rather than the articulation of narrative, or the erotic power of groove. There are plenty of signs of instrumental agency remaining in the music, which risks an audience …

Tim Risher – The Cracked Chimes (ambient)

Ambient music is usually associated with a certain set of characteristics; although dance music producers became interested in ambient as a source of inspiration, and whole stylistic zones have arisen around the combination of different dance genres with ‘ambient-type’ sounds, even to the extent that the term is frequently used unadorned to refer to such music by those unaware of its provenance, one thing it often lacks is an overt beat. When Tim Risher suggests we might hear his music as a ‘mix between ambient and techno’, I guess we should take his use of the latter term as a…

Various Artists – Album Roundup

Concept albums are something that are probably most often associated with complicated rock music and high-falutin lyrics dealing with such themes as the importance of dragons as a symbol of self-realisation. Well, this is very definitely a concept album, but the music it includes is not rock, not complicated, and not endowed with any kind of lyrical content. There is a brief explanation on the Bandcamp page: 4-zero-7 relates the experiences and reminiscences of the eponymous interceptor droid 4.0.7 as it lies on the operating table after sustaining combat damage; eventually the …