ARTIST: Dead Sea Apes & Adam Stone
RELEASE DATE: 26th September 2018
RECORD COMPANY: Cardinal Fuzz
'Warheads' is the blistering full length collaborative release between writer/artist Adam Stone and Manchester-based noise manipulators 'Dead Sea Apes'. Picking at the claustrophobic underbelly of modern life, 'Warheads' melds the dystopian commentary of Stone with the experimental sonic might of 'Dead Sea Apes' to bring us on a hallucinogenic voyage that swerves valiantly through angry psychpunk, menacingly broody modern psych and mind altering experimental perceptions, holding absolutely nothing back. 'Warheads' had it's official release back on the 26th September via the ever reliable Cardinal Fuzz Records and is available to buy/download right now on various formats from cful.bandcamp.com and cardinalfuzz.bigcartel.com respectively.
Dead Sea Apes & Adam Stone - Warheads by Cardinal Fuzz Shop
Lysergic fuelled guitars fizz and tingle as they balance precariously on layers of reverb allowing ‘Inside Of Me’ to slowly evolve before punishing drums clatter into view pulling heavy bass frequencies and the snarl of charging vocalisations with them, melding collectively into one turbulent ball of atmospheric energy. Lead guitars begin their merry dance, spinning sonic webs of stinging malice as they follow the vocal lines closely, allowing no quarter as the band unleash a pick n’ mix style of various sounds and Adam Stone enlightens us all on the impending demise of modern life as we know it. There are links here to various musical stylings with the apparent ‘Dead Kennedy's’ or 'Mark E. Smith & The Fall' connection evident from the off but if you listen very closely to the instrumental accompaniment you’ll hear classic ‘Dead Sea Apes’ experimentation bubbling just below the mix. Up next, ‘Reduced To Zero’ floats into audible range strapped to slow moving percussive pattern, swirling instrumental drones and jangling guitars all trapped in a kind of dystopian wild west hue. The mesmerising spoken word of Stone, drenched in reverb, cuts a fine wedge through proceedings, pontificating brilliantly and injecting an unsettling atmospheric psychpunk edge deftly underpinned with the dry wit of John Cooper Clarke.
‘Retreat To Your Bunker’ is absolutely sublime! Droning instrumentation mixed with electronic bleeps, sequenced samples, synths and atmospheric fret noise accompany a busy percussive pattern and meandering bounce of heavy bass frequencies as the vocals arrive swirling within a cinematic cloud of 70’s sci-fi atmospherics. This is fantastic listening and possibly my favourite track on the entire release whilst ‘Doing What You Want’ is a charging heavy psychpunk behemoth. Repetitive guitars ride chariot like drum patterns as Stone’s vocalisations draw influences from punk to post-punk and heavy psych with sermon like abandonment. Up next, ‘Broken In Two’ pulses into life with a sequenced line of menacing synth as squally drones ebb just below the mix and that metronomic percussive pattern adds intense atmosphere. Subtle feedback adds to the melee as the vocals arrive bringing schizoid spoken word broken up at times by building swells of guitar and drawn out instrumental breaks filled with repetitive lines of synth and catchy chord changes. ‘Broken In Two’ meanders brilliantly through dark passages of stunning instrumentation used primarily to carry the blistering social commentary of Adam Stone.
‘Yes No’, the albums penultimate piece, is a hypnotic spaced out psych jam falling somewhere between modern heavy psych and mid nineties alternative rock. Heavy drum patterns carry throbbing lines of bass and growling guitars into a battle of fizzing sonic attrition as the screaming vocal incantations throttle the baying acolytes into absolute submission. It’s a fascinating listen and a recommendation from us lot here at Primal Music. The album closes out with the rousing ‘Power To The People’. Sequenced atmospherics meld with squally drones and layers of reverb as they circumnavigate lines of poetic spoken word and pulse through clouds of heady atmosphere. This track builds brilliantly from the off, injecting layers of hypnotic instrumentation in stages and closes out another marvellous excursion into the sonic mind of ‘Dead Sea Apes’.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Del Chaney has spent the last five years dedicating his time to uncovering the best artists in the unsigned or small independent label based shoegaze, ethereal dream pop, postpunk & modern psych rock from all over the globe & reviewing them for this blog - The Primal Music Blog. He is also a contributing writer for The Sound Of Confusion (Now On Hiatus). His other arm - Primal Radio - has gained considerable respect from bands and promoters alike since its conception in 2013 & has helped him in actively promoting genres of music that he is passionate about. Hailing from Dublin, Ireland, he is a keen Vinyl Collector, Tattoo Fan & all round good guy! He is a self confessed music freak & is never far away from a studio console or a turntable.
ARTIST: Ultra Material
RELEASE: Cosmic Anti Stuff
RELEASE DATE: 29th August 2019
RECORD COMPANY: Black Wire Records
Brisbane-based quartet 'Ultra Material' first tweaked our attention back in 2016 when we reviewed their debut album 'Double Date' and swooned at their beautifully entrancing soundscapes. Permeating different layers of shoegaze, passages of haunting dream-pop, bouncing post-punk and subtle undercurrents of psychedelia, 'Ultra Material' create a modern sound that skirts the outer echelons of quaint experimentation whilst doffing a curt nod to the originators of the shoegaze genre. Their sublime sophomore full length entitled 'Cosmic Anti Stuff' was officially released back on August 29th 2018 via 'Black Wire Records', instantly catapulting it into one of favourite releases of this year. It's available to buy/download right now on various formats from ultramaterial.bandcamp.com
Cosmic Anti Stuff by Ultra Material
With a twang of repetitive guitar and the luscious pull of reverb the opening bars of ‘Belong’ usher in a steadying air of optimism. It’s not long before we’re catapulted headlong into a wall of charging noise as throbbing bass frequencies meld with aggravated guitars and senses pummelling percussion that's more akin to a cumulative krautrock/modern psych gem than a shoegaze odyssey. The arrival of subtle swells of synth only add to the giddying onslaught before those haunting vocalisations float into audible range and my night is complete! ‘Belong’ is absolutely stunning, a monstrous track and a magnificent opening salvo. Up next, ‘Rhodamine’ rocks on a steady metronomic beat as swirling layers of guitar and synth hover above the throb of cascading bass. Sublime vocals arrive in a cloud of atmospherics as catchy chord structures rise and fall through twinkling runs of keyboard and that hypnotic ‘Ultra Material’ vibe takes hold. There’s something altogether magical tumbling through this track that keeps your attention fixed as you follow the individual instrumental layers, listening as they spiral and flow with ease. ‘Rolodex’ is filled with jangling melody that bounces on top of a humming bass signature and those gliding layers of synth with just enough room for another impressive vocal performance whilst ‘Ivory Curl’ has subtle post-punk connotations hidden in amongst it’s beautifully entrancing clouds of dreaminess.
‘Discorporate’ arrives strapped to a fizzing guitar progression before layers of glistening synth dipped in reverb pull steadying percussive patterns and catchy instrumental hooks into earshot, wrapping brilliantly around an impressive vocal take and the continuous sting of lead guitar. This track tumbles effortlessly, melding shoegaze with dream-pop and an undercurrent of psychedelia just for kicks. It’s absolutely beautiful and an album highlight for me. ‘Torpor’ is mesmerisingly beautiful. Swirling lines of guitar rise with the swoosh of cymbal noise and slow pull of bass frequencies and that shimmering vocal meanders alongside allowing the hypnotic pull of reverb to carry the entire track. The arrival of a busy percussive pattern shatters the momentary lull before swells of synth bubble up from below the mix to lift the track skywards, carrying this listener along into the tracks final throws. ‘Transfer’ deploys a heavier atmospheric edge as dark frequencies merge with layers of synth and ‘Ultra Material’ dig deep to unfurl their impressive post-punk side. Busy percussion and a big brooding bass lines lay a deep furrow into the mix as reverb drenched guitars jangle and the haunting refrain of the vocals take flight. It’s another impressive track and a definite album highlight.
The albums penultimate piece arrives in a heavy shoegaze drenched cloud as ‘Reduction’ unfurls it’s fuzzy tendrils and charges into the sonic ether on a throbbing bass line and a repetitive flurry of synth. A steady bedrock of percussion keeps things grounded as we jangle through the verse parts before absolutely exploding into those immense chorus progressions, it's immense vocal and that wall of blissful noise. The album close out with something magical. ‘Parachute’ swirls into action on dreamy waves of synth, the throb of bass and the haunting call of vocal. Slow moving and sporadic percussive hits emerge through the glistening haze as duel lines of vocal ricochet of one another and the fizz of sonic frequencies meld with refractions of reverb to create a multitude of hypnotic melodies all funnelled into one magnificent sonic assault. It’s a wonderful ending to what could be my favourite album of 2018 so far.
ARTIST: The Daysleepers
RELEASE DATE: 7th September 2018
RECORD COMPANY: Unsigned
After a ten year hiatus away from the underground shoegaze scene, Buffalo natives 'The Daysleepers' released their highly anticipated long player entitled 'Creation' to worldwide applause, ironing out all of the stateside shoegaze arrogance and righting the previous underlying wrongs that the scene had previously created in the process. Well .... not quite! With a wave of appreciation from some of the self-proclaimed modern day shoegaze commentators, 'Creation' has been mentioned as one of the best albums of 2018 and we have to concur with our learned peers and their aforementioned findings. Not only have this band unleashed a solid, non pretentious album filled with standalone anthems; they've also managed to use all of their previously attained sonic knowhow to meld shoegaze, dream-pop, space-rock and a subtle little layer of modern psych into their collective sound to launch them firmly into the underground ether with rapturous applause. The band are made up of Jeff Kandefer - vocals/guitars/bass VI/programming/keyboards, Mario Gimbrone - drums, Scott Beckstein - bass & Elizabeth Kandefer - vocal and 'Creation' is available to buy/download right now via thedaysleepers.bandcamp.com
Creation by The Daysleepers
With swirling waves of blissful guitar drenched in oodles of reverb 'This Dark Universe' unfurls its woozy tendrils and reaches out with open arms. Slow moving percussion riding deep booming bass frequencies skirts undulating layers of haunting synth as those impressive vocals arrive, lifting the track just enough to make room for those massive pools of reverb. As opening salvos go this is very very impressive . Up next, 'Creation' arrives with it's big bruising percussive hits and that massive wall of resonating noise. Cascading bass progressions slide in and out of soaring lines of lead guitar as those catchy hooks fall into minuscule breaks and we rise headlong into the stars on waves of dreamy instrumentation. The vocals are pulled back into the mix here, exaggerating the size and scope of the track and heightening the overall sensory experience. 'Creation' is a magnificent triumph, a monster of a track and a definite album highlight for me. There's a hint of post-punk emanating from 'Arclights' that is very refreshing indeed. Swirling synths hold the entire backbone of this track together as pounding drums and that charging wall of bass glide effortlessly along allowing the guitars to inject melodious refractions into the mix. The vocals here ooze a kind of dream-pop hue and and those catchy lines of lead guitar are reminiscent of 'The Cure' in their late 80's pomp. 'Arclights' for me is possibly the best track on this entire release.
'Foreverpeople' rises on waves of reverb laden synth and jangling guitars before those catchy drums and another fantastic bass line unveils a beautifully entrancing slice of modern dream-pop. Vocally brilliant, this track conjures up sunny summer melancholic vibes whilst up next, 'The Memory Maker' ambles into audible range tumbling on shimmering lines of repetitive guitar and swells of delicious synth before the duel vocal prowess of Jeff and Elizabeth Kandefer merge to form a haunting wall of heavenly noise that melds with slow moving percussion, twinkling lines of lead and layers of solidifying reverb. Stunning instrumental breaks add wise scoped atmosphere here as the vocals grow in intensity, spinning wildly through layers of brilliant instrumentation right up until the tracks finale. 'Sundiver' is absolutely huge. It explodes into the ether on a driving wall of instrumentation used primarily to ferry another mesmerising vocal performance courtesy of Jeff Kandefer. Humming lines of bass stay close to that edifying percussive assault as soaring lines of guitar spin golden sonic webs, tying everything together nicely. It's a fantastically structured track and another album highlight. Up next, 'Tropics' begins with a thunderous drum track before eventually dragging shimmering lines of guitar and another charging bass progression into the mix and we dive headlong into a massive pool of blistering melody. Beautifully structured, this track rises and falls in just the right places, is filled with catchy hooks and has a subtle psychedelic aura.
'Flood In Heaven', the albums penultimate piece, stutters on arrival before slow moving percussion, layers of simmering synth and entrancing guitars catch hold and we push off through a sea of shining reverb. Cascading lines of lead guitar flood the senses as the vocals arrive and that pounding kick drum carries a fantastic bass salvo. It moves receptively through its verse parts before soaring skywards through the chorus, injecting intense melody with each individual chord sequence until eventually we fall away into clouds of reverb. Huge in scope, 'Flood In Heaven' is absolutely mesmerising and a definite album highlight for me. 'Creation' closes out with 'The Monolith', an atmospheric beast sharpened with a kind of post-punk edge. Repetitive percussion layered in lo-fi splendour carries the track as twinkling guitars pitter patter through out the mix and the bounce of the bass line keeps things very interesting. Vocally, it floats majestically keeping a steady course through those layers of reverb and gliding synth keeping it fairly simple until we reach the soaring chorus break and on into the track finale. It's a brilliant ending to an absolutely wonderful album and my hope is that 'Creation' appears on a multitude of end of year lists as it deserves all of the plaudits.
Del Chaney has spent the last five years dedicating his time to supporting the best artists in the unsigned or small independent label based shoegaze, ethereal dream pop, postpunk & modern psych rock from all over the globe & reviewing them for this blog - The Primal Music Blog. He is also a contributing writer for The Sound Of Confusion (Now On Hiatus). His other arm - Primal Radio - has gained considerable respect from bands and promoters alike since its conception in 2013 & has helped him in actively promoting genres of music that he is passionate about. Hailing from Dublin, Ireland, he is a keen Vinyl Collector, Tattoo Fan & all round good guy! He is a self confessed music freak & is never far away from a studio console or a turntable.
Someday by FAWNS OF LOVE
Hot on the heels of the recent release of their 'Part Time Punks Session', their signing to 'Test Pattern Records' and the subsequent announcement of a full length sophomore release in early 2019 comes the latest single entitled 'Someday' from one of our favourite modern dream-pop outfits 'Fawns Of Love'. With a hint of 80's chic, some shoegaze highlights and lashings of synth led dream-pop, Joseph & Jenny Andreotti have been unleashing some stunning music over the past few years to burgeoning world-wide applause from both fans and peers alike. This latest single highlights the bands impressive rise and their constant evolution as they prepare to release new music with the backing of a record label.
'Someday' pulses on a sequenced pad of soothing synth, electronic percussion filled with off-kilter bongo hits and the constant pitter patter of hi-hats. Bouncing bass frequencies hum and cascade through layers of blissful reverb, shimmering ambience and subtle lines of guitar twinkle just below the mix allowing Jenny Andreotti to show us all just how good her vocal prowess actually is. 'Someday' is the first track to be lifted from their forthcoming new album and we reckon it's a doozie! It was officially released via 'Test Pattern Records' on October 5th 2018 can get your hands on it right now to buy/download from fawnsoflove.bandcamp.com
ARTIST: The Oscillation
RELEASE: Wasted Space
RELEASE DATE: 21st September 2018
RECORD COMPANY: Fuzz Club Records
Lets get straight too it: The Oscillation's latest release, 'Wasted Space' is the definition of bonkers genius. I first heard that term, ‘bonkers genius’ in regards to a film script that had been written as a proposed sequel to a very popular and big budget movie. The script had essentially taken the originals core story (a medieval epic) and introduced a complete crossfire of madness. Absurd subplots involving time travel, resurrection based suicide and gigantic, million men armies going to war for 400 years could all be found in the proposed sequels script. It was, indeed, bonkers. But underneath it all there was something amazing. Perhaps that ‘something’ was the very composition of the script, maybe it was that, when stepping back, the plot actually made coherent (and considerate) sense. Maybe it was because everything locked together in a way that many people wouldn’t even consider when approaching it. All these questions can be applied to 'Wasted Space' . Tracks here are scattered underneath piles of bizarrely twisted loops, sound FX, off kilter guitars, and just general madness. Underneath it somewhere, is a warped and absurdist dance album. Preface: this is one of those releases that even the greatest writers cannot accurately describe. Demian Castellanos has created a swirling hedonistic thrill ride in the guise of 'Wasted Space'. It's the bands sixth album to date and it leads the listener on a blistering journey into the darker side of the experimental psych spectrum, a side that balances tentatively on a fizzing tight rope of sonic emotions. The album had it's official release back on the 21st of September 2018 via those good folks over at Fuzz Club Records and is available to buy/download right now on various formats via fuzzclub.com & fuzzclub.bandcamp.com respectively.
Wasted Space by The Oscillation
I’ll try and be as legitimate as possible, but you must understand that many of the sounds on this exploratory adventure are extremely difficult to describe… Some are actually so confusing I don’t think I could describe them even if I tried. The album opens with ‘Entity’, a beat orientated dance track that begins with a wall of shaky noises and bass and drums orientated backing. The guitars are all over the show. The vocals sound filtered through a robotic voice… and then reversed? Occasionally a riff comes along with a pretty ‘normal’ sound only to be then swept away by obtuse but brilliantly inventive guitar playing. As mentioned above, the track is essentially a dance track gone crazy. The title track follows with a dense-layering of feedback and noise where vocals can be heard, deeply layered in noise, screaming in the background. It then jumps between patches of sound collages and dark, almost post-punk rhythmic interludes. All the way through (much like the previous track) the song sounds as danceable as ever, albeit at times layered in the depths of oddity. Being a fan of noise music, I very much enjoyed the occasionally passages (and background sounds) of feedback and distortion-based vocals that appeared throughout the song. The band leaves space for a bit of keyboard play on the following track ‘Visions of Emptiness’ which is a fantsastic and much more (mostly) linear song. Guitars interlock with the steady yet rhythmic beat of the drums. The whole song builds in fulfilling manner toward leftover ambience and a passage of wavy feedback.
‘Drop’ brings forth the previously explored dance-based industrial sounds and proves to be one of the albums most accessibly dance-based tracks. Again, the song is strengthened by the efforts and skill of its bass/synthesizer lines, backed up by its steadily club-orientated dance beat and the bizarre swells of sequencers and noises in the background. ‘The Human Shell’ is a different beast altogether; strangely hypnotic and slow, its collection of sweeping synthesizers and glacial guitars make it sound (almost) like a dream pop/shoegaze song. Slowly rolling along for almost 8 minutes, the song highlights the bands talent to produce something straight forward, reliant on the strength and skill of the song writing and playing rather than abstraction and layering (although there is nothing wrong with that). Rolling at almost 14 minutes, the colossal ‘Luminous Being’ offers much of what the rest of the album has to offer: sweeping ambience coupled with bizarre soundscapes and backings, somehow beautiful but never boring. The bands mixture of sequencers and synthesizers makes for interestingly sketched out feelings of confusion and comfort, simultaneously.
It goes without saying that this album cannot be recommended to everybody… but here I am, strongly recommending it to you. I’m mostly bored of generic ‘psych’ bands and I’m extremely glad that The Oscillation have appeared here to ensure there are still those out there doing something fantastic and original. You know an album is good when you’re tempted to describe it as: ‘it sounds crazily like if Alice in Wonderland was performed at an ice rink with all the lights dimmed and everybody there was on a cocktail of drugs, listening to a psych band in reverse’. The performances are tight, the production, while sometimes politely lo-fi, holds the whole picture together… but ultimately it is the bonkers genius put together that makes this album a piece of brilliant original sound.
Cam Phillips is a writer and above all, a music lover, who seeks to gain experience through writing and listening. He is also an avid film viewer and art and literature junkie who enjoys creative writing. His most recent published work was featured on Baeble Music and Culture (USA), Sounds and Colours Magazine (Latin America, London), Easterndaze (Latvia) and the Australian-based heavy music blog, I Probably Hate Your Band.
by Primal Music