Posted in Uncategorized by HOLIDAYS on May 31, 2010

Been having a few issues recently- computer related. Should be fixed tomorrow. Podcast should be done within the next day or so as well. I’m anticipating it being pretty long in an attempt to encompass all that has been reviewed thus far.

I also want to take this moment to thank everyone who has submitted to HOLIDAYS and given kind words. I really do appreciate it. I hope that I’ve provided words that are beneficial to everyone active and interested in these genres. Thanks again, and everyone take care.


Flesh Puppets – Medusa & Vomir/Graham Young – Split (third sex, 2010)

Posted in Graham Young, third sex, Vomir by HOLIDAYS on May 31, 2010

Flesh Puppets – Medusa

Of all the recordings Richard Ramirez could have rereleased, I’m glad he and third sex decided to resurrect this one. Originally released on Ramirez’ label Deadline Recordings in 1990, Medusa is described as a tribue to underground gay/bi S&M weekly. According to Discogs, there may only be 10 original copies in existence, with this rerelease making 333 copies on CD available.

Medusa is a very cold and dark album, and from what I’ve seen of the culture, I’d say it does a good job of complementing what it’s attributing itself to. It could be the sounds Sade heard in his head while writing, or the music in the background of “The Rectum,” in Noe’s Irreversible– it’s self-indulged with a lack  emotion like an act of submission, or domination.

From straight-up in-hale, ex-hale sounds to thick walls of harsh noise, Medusa carries a lot over the span of three tracks. The artwork is excellent- a bit pixelated, but still very arousing, and once again, very complimentary to the subject matter. Head to your unfinished basement, toss on a zipper-mouth mask, mute your porn, and give this one a spin.

Vomir/Graham Young – Split

I’ve been told by harsh noise wall artists to listen to HNW like that of a drone or ambient piece- slow moving, but thick and harsh. Both artists deliver, laying down thick slabs of harsh noise that you can really submerse yourself into. I’ve heard a couple releases from Vomir before, and it seems that while sounding alike from release to release- granted, I don’t listen to them one-by-one in a row- that they all deliver this same feeling of overwhelming sound. The same goes for Graham Young as well- just a relentless onslaught of sound. Both give 30 minutes of  slowly churns that are drawn out over long movements. With close attention, you start to hear some real dynamics buried deep within the sound that really keep your ear tuned throughout the duration of the entire tape.

The tape itself is wonderful- a bit hard to decipher what exactly the artwork is, but I mean the actual tape itself is perfect- charcoal gray- heavy, etc. Definitely recommended to HNW fans, as third sex has done a great job of pairing two artists that complement each others sound very well. Still great for those outside of the genre, but it may just be shelved after the first listen.

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Rei Rea – Allergy Bummer (DumpsterScore, 2010)

Posted in DumpsterScore, Rei Rea by HOLIDAYS on May 24, 2010

“Allergy Bummer” supplies a well constructed array of sounds- all of which carry a very serene sense to them. Over the span of 7 tracks nearing 40 minutes, we’re given heavy, churning layers topped with sounds, ranging from delight to dark and occasionally menacing and eerie. No track reflects the same feelings as the prior leaving the release hard to distinguish the overall emotion, but the variety is captivating.

The entire release is embracing, and comes with some truly wonderful collage artwork (click here for its entirety) to stimulate your brain even further while you listen to it. Definitely recommended to those who are already fans of noise/ambience/etc.- though, it may not be the easiest sell to non-genre fans. It’s worth you time, and very well may warrant future rotations in your CD player.

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Redglaer – Petals & Scars (third sex, 2010)

Posted in Redglaer, third sex by HOLIDAYS on May 23, 2010

While anticipating something ambient and blissful, what I heard instead is one of the heaviest slabs on tape I’ve heard in awhile. Imagine 60 minutes of sonic experimentation that pulls all your picture frames off the walls, and rattles your glass cabinets- that’s “Petals and Scars”.

The first side gives us tons of rumbling low end feedback accompanied higher sounds of scraping and rattlings, all of which come in and out in gracious long strands with solid moments of silence between- sometimes coming in catching you off guard with each reprise of sound. Each time, the sounds become slightly more energetic, introducing more altered sounds from the same sources.

The second side begins abruptly with a thud, into a long, heavy drone. Slow, yet dynamic, the drone is occasionally accompanied by some small amounts of high-end feedback and some sporadic clanking. Half way through, the tape ceases the low-end massage and replaces it with oscillating chirps, punches of harsh noise and feedback that turns into more-so waves of harsh noise on top of more low-end droning. For a bit, the feedback ends and rather eerie sounds like that of rusty hinges, knife sharpening and random clatter begin, all concluding with more, dense harsh sounds.

By far, this is the most charming looking tape to grace my shelf. Audibly speaking, it’s- once again- one of the heaviest. I absolutely recommend this to people appreciative of sounds of a heavier nature and those interested in low-end, feedback experimentation.

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Luciernaga – Life Passes Away Like Idle Chatter (Fabrica, 2010)

Posted in Fabrica Records, Luciernaga by HOLIDAYS on May 21, 2010

Prior to getting this tape, I had never heard of Octavio Paz– a Mexican poet whose words are printed on the short half of the j-card. They’re apparently an excerpt from a lengthy poem entitled “Entre la Piedra y la Flor“, translating to “Between the Rock and the Flower”, reading…

Dame, llama invisible, espada fria (Dame invisible flame, sword cold)
tu persistente cólera,
(your persistent anger)
para acabar con todo,
(to eliminate all)
oh mundo seco,
(O world dry)
oh mundo desangrado,
(O world bled)
para acabar con todo.
(to end it all)

Being fairly existential words, the music backs them up fairly well. While not being too overly cold or dark, “…Idle Chatter” presents some well composed layers of guitar and synth sounds with the occasional sampled dialogue (none of which sounded very decipherable) that promotes a listen that may fair well on the right occasion. I made the right decision after reading the description of “cold/dark” to toss it in the glove compartment of my car and save it for an extended late night drive home, which for me was the perfect time to let these sounds sink it. I’ve always considered this time of night while transit to be the time in which I’m most vulnerable to music, which I chose to fill with darker sounds.  While indeed being cold and dark, I still sense there being lots of emotion and hope on this tape, especially on the seventh track, “Oscillating in Rhythmic Eternity,” where the guitar work is quite pleasant, but moments such as this are sparse, leaving most of the tape rather dreary.

“…Idle Chatter” is most likely not a tape to put under your pillow at night for pleasant dreams, but it’s certainly good enough to warrant additional hearings. It’s definitely an impressive first entry to the new Fabrica Records, packaged in standard cassette case with additional printed material containing more information about the release.

I’d recommend you do as I did- get it and find the time in your life in which it may fit. Though, with a name like “Luciernaga” (translating to “Firefly” in English), it’s clear there’s no better time to hear this than at night.

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ruido latino (2010 Compilado, Hybrid Frequency, & 5ebuts/IS)

Posted in 5ebuts, ACS, Hybrid Frequency, IS, ruido latino, Various Artists by HOLIDAYS on May 18, 2010

Hailing from Colombia, Yecid Ortega has been promoting Latino noise music in Chicago since 2003. Aside from a few popular acts, Yecid recognized a lack of recognition for Latino groups and started ruido latino, a label releasing Latin American compilations, albums, and splits featuring both Latino and Chicagoland artists.

Various Artists – 2010 Compilado

Being fairly unfamiliar with noise acts of Latino America, the 2010 Compilado seems to be a great place to start. Being a joint effort between both ruido latino and Chile based label, ACS- the compliation gives us a nice tour around Latino America featuring acts from Mexico, Columbia, Chile, Peru, Ecuador, and Argentina.

Featuring sounds all over the noise spectrum, from straight-up harsh noise, to even noise accompanied by grind-minded drumming, the compilation does a good job of exposing 16 different acts that most of us would have never known existed otherwise. It’s definitely something you may want to devote your time to, seeing as you’ll likely find something of interest and the tape medium of course isn’t very “track” friend.

Limited to 100 copies on red cassette and packaged in a poly case with red O-card, the overall product is classy one that also includes an informative piece of printed material offering information on all artists who have contributed to the compilation. I recommend this one to all fans of noise. Just as I stated before- you’re bound to find something of interest.

Hybrid Frequency – Basic Elements

While Yecid Ortega is originally from Colombia, Hybrid Frequency was born and raised in Chicago. “Basic Elements” strikes me as one of those albums that if you’d don’t allow yourself to be fully submerged in the music, you may not come out of it with a full appreciation. The album is indeed fairly basic in its nature with each track, or “element” (each track is literally titled “Element 1,” “Element 2,” etc.) carrying plenty of dynamism as loops are organized into constantly changing rhythms and tempos. As the album progresses, the sounds and loops become more interesting and occasionally more energetic. While its a misfortune that “Basic Elements” is extremely limited to 10 copies, a digital copy is provided for free from Yecid himself via Mediafire, and with that said, there’s no reason not to give this one a try. For more information about the project, you can also check out Yecid’s artist statement via Mediafire as well for a further look into HF.

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5ebuts/IS – “…”

I’ve certainly never heard of 5ebuts before, but his contribution on this release may have my eye on their future releases. 5ebuts, fronted by Chilean Sebastian Ortiz offers up “Sufre”- a fierce piece of work that is relentless and powerful from the first moment all the way to the very slow fade at the end of the 9 minute cacophony.

The Is track, “Surplus” is a definite turn in events, starting of with a quieter intro that fades in and out for couple minutes before exploding into a thick slab of distorted sound, occasionally allowing other desperate and tortured layers of sound to bleed through the thickness before abruptly stopping, and breifing reprising the calm introduction. While I recommend this if you find it at a fair price, it should be noted that this 3″ CDR is- as was Hybrid Frequency’s “Basic Elements”, limited to a mere 10 copies that are wonderfully packaged in a black cloth baggy containing a mini jewel case.

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It’s unfortunate that most of the releases on RL are extremely limited, but I’d recommend you check all links given, as some of these releases and many others from Latino America are readily available for download from both the labels. Huge thanks for Yecid for supplying the sounds and history.

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Swamp Horse – Perpetual Drip (Husk Records, 2010)

Posted in Husk Records, Swamp Horse by HOLIDAYS on May 17, 2010

Described as a “bleak and down electronics,” Swamp Horse’s “Perpetual Drip” is a clear indication of the misery that resides in- no, not Cleveland (not even Flint), but Nicholasville, KY. Each of the two tracks are solid renditions of gloom, each featuring a fair amount of depressed noise and guitar work, even featuring a sequence full-on guitar, drum and noise that helps in the overall feelings of despondency with no end in sight. It very well could be the soundtrack to a life that is in a state of- for lack of a better term- stuck.

This is all fine and dandy though, while being “bleak and down,” the music stands solid. By no means is this a kind, sunny day on the porch album, but it is certainly a great listen and well worth future rotations. As it sounds that life may not get any better for these two, I can only hope they stay true to their misery and release more music in the future.

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Narkoleptik – Impuls Dominant (F.I.R., 2006) & So Sweet, So Perverse (Mask of the Slave Records, 2008)

Posted in F.I.R., Mask of the Slave Records, Narkoleptik by HOLIDAYS on May 9, 2010

In the states, unless you have a real interest, there’s no way you’d’ve heard of Romania’s “The Vampire of Bucharest”. There’s a decent amount of killers that have become that of general knowledge, so unless I’m living under a rock, it’d make sense that that inspiration of this album would be ultimately foreign to me.

According to the information given on the insert- all of which is in Romanian, plus, I’m paraphrasing here- says that the material aims to rebuild the atmosphere of a year of crime spanning a year between May of ’70 and April of ’71 in Romania’s capital, Bucharest. Reading further, the album is specifically based on Ion Rîmaru, aka “The Vampire of Bucharest”. There’s also a good size description along with a list of attacks, all of which committed by Rîmaru.

So does the music create this atmosphere? Drenched in feedback accompanied by hateful, out-for-blood vocals that are buried deep within effects (on top of the occasional rhythmic synth line), “Impuls Dominant” is relentless and violent, never quite giving in from start to finish. While it may not be violent enough to generate the mental concept of having an axe forced through your head, it still lends itself as a hostile power electronics rendition of what was the mind of Rîmaru.

While the music stands on its own, breaking the language barrier helps drive this album in. While I chose to type up every word given and then translate it, information on Rîmaru is very readily available and will save you some trouble. Still available from F.I.R., and recommended.

Released two years after “Impuls Dominant” (with the release of a 2005 recording bridging the gap), comes “So Sweet, So Perverse” on Mark of the Slave Records based in Transylvania, Romania. There’s no need for a gracious amount of information such as the last release when you’re song tiles are “1988”, “They All Deserve”, “So Sweet, So Perverse”, etc.

Staring off with what could be heard as the echos of a young girls dreams turns dark and ominous. Submerged in echos, the album gives little of the chaos and violence as heard in the previous entry, replacing it with sounds of dark ambiance and drone- such as the fourth track, “Driving Force,” the final, self-titled track “So Sweet, So Perverse,” which is actually a rather depressing long organ piece.

While both albums offer a different array of sounds and feelings, each are equally haunting and dreary. For my tastes, “Impuls Dominant” is superior, giving harsh high registry that I look for in power electronics, but that certainly doesn’t mean I can’t foresee myself giving both an equal amount of rotation. Both of these CDrs are a bit dated, but still seem readily available from both labels.

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Filthy Smear – Constipated Albion (Total Vermin, 2009)

Posted in Filthy Smear, Total Vermin by HOLIDAYS on May 4, 2010

You have to hand it to Darren Wyngarde- there’s not a whole lot of people who can audialize “filth” so well and effectively. If you’re like myself, you believe there’s a time and a place to listen to everything, which is really all that is required to enjoy this tape. What time that may be for you, I haven’t a clue, but I’m convinced it exists.

“Constipated Albion” is a 26 minute journey through this “filth,” beginning with what I’ll call an initiation- a bit of hesitation, and we are released (sounds like yacking, but the title may hint something different) into a world of sound that I can only describe as one fucked up carnival ride of scatological proportions. There’s real dynamism with fast drops and quick turns, stopping every once and while to be entertained by some animatronic emetophilists who tell a story that is too absurd to understand because you’re to tantalized by the fiberless diet subject matter- each change in pace bringing you only closer to the end making you feel filthier than when you only guessed what you were getting into by picking up the tape in the first place.

There’s no denying that it’ll take a certain type of person to appreciate this tape, otherwise, it could have potential to rub on some as a sick, guilty pleasure.

DBH (Death’s Black Hand)/Ultra Bonbon – Split (Danver’s State Records, 2010)

Posted in Danver's State Recordings, DBH (Death's Black Hand), Ultra Bonbon by HOLIDAYS on May 3, 2010

My immediate impression of this HN split on DSR is the packaging, which is an “O” wrap around a standard Norelco case. This is the first time I’ve seen this- though I’m sure it’s not the first time-but it makes for an excellent, diverse touch. The artwork is rather putrid, displaying a profile view of a drawn character projecting vomit (as you can see), off to the side, allowing one to draw an immediate hint as to the content.

Death’s Black Hand delivers two tracks of harsh noise- “Pain within this Shell,” starts with layers spanning from a high registered synth line that sounds like something out of an old 70’s slasher, accompanied by some tidal waves of crushing low end and some pulsating oscillation, along with other sporadic sounds breaking through the mix as well. Their second track, “Left Here to Rot,” begins immediately without a moment to spare with a loud wall of low end and quieter layers reminiscent of operating machinery on top. As the track progresses, the top layers become rather rhythmic which carries on throughout the duration, ending with just two clear and decisive layers that abruptly come to a stop.

The Ultra Bonbon side starts with “Crystal Pantry,” beginning with a shoving low end, and oscillating chirps, echoing and dwindling above, all of which eventually fades out and into a kinder synth line that works almost as some breathing room before the next track. “Spreading Spores” is a heavy hitter- starting with the same chirps as the previous, but with some wobbling layers of sound and a very heavy, echoed pulsation, which eventually slows down and introduces what may be one of the best aspects of this entire release- angry and tortured vocals. This track ends just as its predecessor, with a easy breathing synth line. The final track from Ultra Bonbon, “Bludgeon Fire” gives a seemingly sporadic low end rhythm that stops and goes with a gracious amount of vocals cut up along with it. Some higher registered sounds break through as well, but the vocals remain triumphant, concluding with a very rhythmic array of sounds.

This tape showcases two great artists with slightly different styles that compliment each other well. Having been released just recently and limited to 40 copies, it’s definitely one to grab sooner than later. I would recommend it based upon the Ultra Bonbon side alone, but as I said before, both artist compliment each other well making this a solid release and well worth any HN fan’s time.

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