Monday, August 11, 2014

CONTROL UNIT - Burn - FEF30

Control Unit combine the volatile, spectrum-spanning vocals and synth of Silvia Kastel with the brutally focused extended techniques of guitarist Ninni Morgia. Though their style occasionally recalls Industrial and No Wave forebears such as Throbbing Gristle, Suicide and Mars, their spontaneity, urgency and sonic inventiveness place them firmly in the present. 

Of their LP The Fugitives Julian Cope wrote, "It’s like Catherine Deneuve dumped two cases of post-Repulsion psychiatric notes over Pere Ubu’s Dub Housing, lit the fuse and, ahem, stood well back". Besides such duo work, the pair have made collaborative records with Gary Smith, Factrix, Massimo, and Smegma's Ju Suk Reet Meate among others.

On Burn, the duo are joined by two alternating guest drummers for some of their most concise and direct material, enveloping you in grimy environments vivid with emotional tension and erotic distress. It's simultaneously always avant garde yet always rock'n'roll.

Side One
1) Real Close ~  (3.34)
2) Burn *  (6.58)
3) Not Now *  (5.21)

Side Two
1) Yes, Indeed ~ (4.40)
2) Sunrise *  (5.48) 
3) Domino ~  (6.53)


Control Unit are:

Silvia Kastel: voice, synth, slide whistle
Ninni Morgia: guitar, bass, percussion, slide whistle

with guests:

Marcello Magliocchi: drums & percussion on ~
Giorgio Maniglia: drums on *

Edition of 100.

AMANDA FEERY - Spells from the Ice Age - FEF29

Amanda Feery is a composer based in Ireland and the U.S. who writes for acoustic and electroacoustic ensembles, and has a particular interest in exploring vocal and folk elements. This collection of piano improvisations is her first release. In her own words:

"The improvisations on Spells from the Ice Age began from nothing - a blank canvas starved of any preconceived ideas. The idea was to work with blind intuition. I envisioned each improvisation as a performance, with an audience there with me. That way, I couldn't stop the recording if I thought the performance had errors, or lacked direction. I 'composed' against the minute hand on the wall, trying to sculpt a complete form through repetition, variation, and silence (whilst I panicked about where to go next!). I get a strange amnesiac effect when I listen back to the recordings. It's like somebody else played them".

Side One
1) Butterbean   (9:31)
2) Nocturne for the Old Raver  (7:58)
3) Scrabble You  (7:51)

Side Two
1) Tilted Slightly Out of True  (12:24)
2) The Immunity Room  (13:37)


Performed and recorded by Amanda Feery 

Mastered by Dunk Murphy 
Artwork by Barry Quinn 

Edition of 100.

THE STATE PATHOLOGIST DR. JOHN HARBISON - Veins of the Earth - FEF28 - SOLD OUT

"The State Pathologist Dr. John Harbison" is a familiar moniker to anyone who followed Irish news from the 1970s on. Less well known is the short-lived death metal trio that appropriated the name, featuring guitarist Andy Cunningham (who subsequently formed Wreck of the Hesperus and more recently Malthusian), drummer Niall O'Reilly (later of Haieeta) and mysterious bassist Bren. This 2002 demo was the bands only recording and still sounds impressive, full of memorable riffs and strong drumming. As it was only briefly available in physical form, we thought it worthwhile to revive the old cadaver for those of a morbid bent, with appropriately grisly new Cunningham cover art. Edition of 50.

Note: the only available audio sources of this material (particularly the second side) were less than optimum. However, mastering by John O'Brien of Irish Metal Archive yielded listenably lo-fi results. Check out his site for more Irish metal obscurities.

Side One
Veins of the Earth / Going Down (5:59)

Side Two
Prey to God (2:56)
Jungle Rot (3:21)


Guitar/Vox: Andy Cunningham 
Bass/Vox: Bren 
Drums/Percussion: Niall O’Reilly 

Recorded & originally released in 2002 

Track 1 also appeared on the Underground Movement 
comilation CD “InToxicated... Vol. 2” in 2003 

Audio exhumed & emblamed by John O’Brien in 2014 

Thursday, June 12, 2014

GONZÁLEZ & STEENKISTE - Dimly Lit - FEF27

Ernesto González and Glen Steenkiste are members of Belgian psych freaks Silvester Anfang II, and record solo as Bear Bones Lay Low and Helvete respectively. Dimly Lit follows cassettes on Feathered Coyote and Eiderdown Records and a couple of self-released CDRs.

Though their acoustic drone is transcendental in intent, this is very physical music, achieved by constant motion - wheezing harmonium bellows, resinous violin bowing and rattling prayer bowls. The duo's musicality and attention to tone, texture and pace make for a richly colourful listen that sounds different on every spin. Drone that's more likely to get you punching the air than nodding off.

Cover art features two paintings by Christian Schoppik
Edition of 100.

Side One
1) Path of the Beam (17:25)

Side Two
2) Thinner Than Air (7:30)

All music recorded between 2012 and 2013 at The Smokey Room, Sint-Denijs by González & Steenkiste.

THE FATHERS - FEF26 - SOLD OUT


This is the debut release from the duo (named in tribute to Father Ted) of Tusco Terror's Nathan Bowers (aka Coagulator) and Derek Gedalecia (best known as Headboggle). The latter's predilection for unlikely instrumental combinations is evident in a mix of nylon-string guitar plucking and modular synth mayhem, making for an exhilarating and disorientating acoustic ambiguity. Hallucinatory, mischievous and raw. This EP-length tape features one studio and one live track.


Side 1: Studio (8:49)
Side 2: Live (9:58)

Recorded in 2013.
Edition of 50.

WRECK OF THE HESPERUS - Long Streak of Misery - FEF25 - 2nd edition now available


Two years on from the release of the Terminal Eulogy demo comp, we continue to gather the scattered leavings of Ireland's filthiest doom urchins with the first of two collections of WOTH's non-album releases. This volume compiles the ultra-limited Rotism CDR, their sides of the split 10"s with Mourning Beloveth and De Novissimis, a pair of compilation tracks, and the previously unreleased A Terminal Dirge. 

The result is an hour of aural abjection that shows the trio's disinterest in adhering to palatable doom conventions. Instead they wallow in diseased drone, abyssal reverb and murky black noise as they drill towards the core of existential squalor. 

"I marshalled the words and opened my mouth, thinking I would hear them. But all I heard was a kind of rattle, unintelligible even to me who knew what was intended". - Samuel Beckett

Side 1
1. Raw Sewage Heart (11.54)
2. Venomous Tentacles (5:39)
3. Misery is the River of the World (12:12)


Side 2
1. Utter Rot (9:43)
2. Rotism (14:12)
3. A Terminal Dirge (5:51) - previously unreleased

All tracks performed by Ray Keenaghan, Andy Cunningham and Cathal Rodgers 2005 - 2008.


Raw Sewage Heart recorded to 4-track by Cathal Rodgers, 2007.
Mixed by Cathal Rodgers in the Banagher Caves.
Originally released by Stitchy Press as a split 10" with De Novissismis.

Venomous Tentacles recorded and mixed at Shay's Studio by Shay Leon, 2005.
Originally released on the Underground Movement Intoxicated 4 compilation.


Misery Is The River Of The World recorded to 4-track by Cathal Rodgers, 2008.
Mixed by Cathal Rodgers in the Banagher Caves.
Originally released by Sentinel Records as a split 10" with Mourning Beloveth.
Written by Kathleen Brennan and Tom Waits, with additional music by Wreck of the Hesperus.

Utter Rot recorded to 4-track by Cathal Rodgers, 2005.
Mixed at Shay's Studio by Shay Leon and Cathal Rodgers.
Originally released on the Totalrust Asymmetry compilation.

Rotism recorded to 4-track by Cathal Rodgers, 2008.
Mixed by Cathal Rodgers in the Banagher Caves.
Originally released by Idrone Park as a limited CDr.


A Terminal Dirge recorded and mixed by Cathal Rodgers, dates unknown.
Previously unreleased.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

ASTRAL SOCIAL CLUB - Meadow Mechanicals - FEF24 - SOLD OUT

Hungry synths gulp at the fabric of the universe. Slithering spiky drones shred the veils of reality. The beat kicks in and tries to guide us through the chaos, but it's drowned out by a host of golden daffodils, all talking at once. And there you are in their midst, having undergone a Kafkaesque metamorphosis into a honeybee. 

The latest chapter in Neil Campbell's beat-driven psychedelic noise odyssey is as vividly kaleidoscopic, intense and in-the-red as ever, and more guitar-heavy than usual. Relentlessly ecstatic, urgent, and joyous.


Side 1
Descent (5.02)
Schlaffen Reshape (7.45)
Repellent (3.45)
Rolling Through the Numbers (3.39)
Masonic Lodge (4.34)

Side 2 
Making Out With the Meadow Mechanicals (4.52)
Shower Pump (2.02)
Longitudinal Celestium (5.08)
Slabgate (12.50)