Archive for the ‘Drone’ Category

Surf Solar

Fuck Buttons – Surf Solar

A slowly swelling, psychedelically swirling, weirdly washing, wave of sound, that gathers from somewhere in the mid-tempo, or somewhere in the outer cosmos, until the churn is defined, refined and designed by a heavy beat, pounding like surf against the shore of your mind.

Metaphors may be mixed like martinis and similies shaken like a Singapore Slings but for me, blogging after midnight is rare, and blogging about trance inducing, proggy psy techno is rarer still. I usually don’t care to much for outer reaches of indulgence achieved by producers exploring sonic and chemical boundaries – when I want beats, I usually want them hard, minimal, and, um, squelchy. But for the appallingly, abysmally named Fuck Buttons I’ll make an exception.

The whole of Tarot Sport, their Andrew Weatherall produced second album sounds like the exploration of outer space on mescaline, and it kicks off from the creeping trip that is Surf Solar, and it’s gradually rising tide of music… All ten and a half minutes of it. Building to a peak then falling gradually away again, the song neatly encapsulates the album that succeeds it, like the chorus surmising a play before the action commenses.

The image above was taken using two Cokin filters shifted in line with the horizon (clue, and blue and a red one) then had the levels pushed in Photoshop to bring out the tones and emphasise the other wordliness of it all.

You can purchase Tarot Sport from Amazon here or download it from Fuck Buttons - Tarot Sport to apreciate the journey (um, trip?) yourself.

A cursory (what other type is there for bloggers) at Wikipedia (what other source of info is there for bloggers?!) tells me they also remixed Fever Ray’s If I Had A Heart, must look that out.

Little Drummer Boy

Little Drummer Boy

Lindstrøm – Little Drummer Boy (Short Edit)

Christmas in London – the South Bank’s German Christmas market in full, colourful, hypnotic flow. You may have by now read about, or even heard, Lindstrøm’s 42 minute version of Little Drummer Boy, or it’s more radio friendly, 5-minute companion version, but if not, prepare to have you mind blown. It’s a pulsating, swirling carousel of electronica – melodic and familiar, yet sparse, cold and alien as well. It’s a late contender for dance record of the year, although on my stereo Fuck Buttons will probably win out, or Fever Ray if that counts. Nevertheless, have a listen to the above, and then find 40 minutes to immerse yourself in the electronic music experience of the year.

From Lindstrøm - Little Drummer Boy the full version will cost you about £7 – but you can get it for two credits from eMusic here, or for a mere £1.45 for download from Play here

Merry Christmas, peace and good will unto each and every one of you!

Magic Hours

Magic Hours

Explosions In The Sky – Magic Hours

Today being the fifth of November it seems like as appropriate a day as any for some Explosions In The Sky on shotwithsound. You may be worrying that lame pun is enough to justify featuring a tune from one of the best exponants of post rock this decade but given they are actually named after fireworks, today’s their day!

And given their propensity for writing music that grows and grows from the ember of a melody to the often raging inferno of wave after hypnotic wave of rushing, crashing rock I can see no reason not to feature them on Bonfire Night. And yes that last sentence did horribly mix fire and water metaphors, give me a break alright: it’s been a long day.

The image above is a long exposure shot of a low wattage light bulb (traditional as you’d imagine Daily Mail reading reactionaries) with several post production filters to bring out the colours and (over) emphasise the fiery colours. So not a firework at all, but it sure looks cool if you ask me!

Magic Hours is from Explosions’ first album How Strange, Innocence, from way back when in 2000 – which was initially stuck out in a couple of hundred CDRs to their mates, before going whatever going viral was called before things went viral.

You can hear more of Explosions on their website here: Explosions In The Sky

Or you can buy How Strange, Innocence from Amazon

Or download it from Explosions In The Sky - How Strange, Innocence

Sunless Glare

Sunless Glare
O Yuki Conjugate - Sunless Glare

In spite of sounding, in both name and output, like the work of a Japanese eccentric working from a high-rise apartment overlooking Shibuya, O Yuki Conjugate actually hail from the somewhat less exotic local of 1980s Nottingham and are a collective of ambient musicians who have been sporadically producing music to dissapointingly little aclaim for two decades.

There is something vast and ominous about much of their work, sounding snippets of dreams and half-forgotten glimpses of futures that never came to pass. The ambient textures rarely shy so far away from rhythym to lose their shape yet at times dissolve into quite alien musical landscapes.

The image above is one of a series of more abstract, conceptual shots I have been working on recently that are trying to reference the vulnerability of light and the density of darkness… In a good way!

This shot in particular reminded me for some reason of 2001: A Space Oddesey, which is what put me in mind of Sunless Glare as it seems, to me, reminiscent of the imagery produced by Kubrick in 2001.

Listening to the song (piece?) is like watching a new dawn breaking in an electric future, where the sun is plugged in and emits only dark light and ultraviolence.

It is drawn from O Yuki’s 2006 ‘comeback’ album, The Euphoria Of Disobedience, which was the first one of theirs I discovered (embarrassingly I only picked it up because the limited edition release featured a very cool glass and cardboard sleeve, which is far and away the best CD case I own!).

Unfortunately the glass case CD version of The Euphoria Of Disobedience is out if production but as ever you can still get the digital version from O Yuki Conjugate - The Euphoria of Disobedience

Akuma No Kuma

Akuma No Kuma

Sunn O))) & Boris – Akuma No Kuma

Sunn O))) make a monumental breed of drone rock that sounds like the audio of the fall of nations and the collapse of empires. Over the years their sound has evolved and they have taken drone metal in new directions with their forward thinking production, collaborations and embracing of electronics and a wide variety of instruments.

When playing live they are (in)famous for performing in the sort of robes worn by Druids and ancient shamen – it was actually the memory of seeing them live at Sonar several years ago that prompted me to pick out one of their pieces of music from that period to soundtrack this image.

Akuma no Kuma is a collaboration with Japan’s experimentalist (with the emphasis on the mentalist) metallers Boris and has vocals from Melvins and Earth man Joe Preston – simply by featuring vocals (albeit proccesed to hell) the track differs from much of their work.

The picture was taken in Spain and is of the Temple De Debod – a real Second Century BC Egyptian monument to Isis and Amon (damn maybe I should have used an Isis song?!)… It was donated by the Egyptian government to the Spanish in 1968 in gratitude for Spain’s aid and has stood in Madrid ever since.

This image is the first in a series of more experimental music and unusual pictures I have planned for the next few months – I’ll try to put some normal music up with normal photos too, but my shots have taken a turn towards the abstract recently so I figure the blog may too.

You can get the collaboration album between Sunn 0))) and Boris, Altar, from Amazon for a fairly hefty price here.

Or you can download it from Boris & Sunn 0))) - Altar

Tenhert

TenhertTinariwen – Tenhert

Not many conscripted, desert-born soldiers of fortune have the time to learn to play instruments, fewer still manage to form bands, and you can count the numbers that reach world wide fame through their tribal take on rock music on the fingers of one hand. Even if the hand has lost all but one of its fingers in an unfortunate heavy machinery accident.

So it is that Tinariwen’s strange, almost mythical journey has taken them from being conscripts to Gaddafi’s Eighties army to touring the world, playing festivals from Glastonbury to Coachella, and being cited by Damon Alban and Chris Martin as influences.

Hailing originally from the the Tuareg tribe in the deserts of Africa’s largest country, Mali, Tinariwen play a curious blend of incanted, shamanistic drone rock that melds their own culture with heady doses of Hendrix-influenced guitars.

Although they formed in the early Eighties and were releasing music locally soon after, it is only really in this decade that their music has been widely available in the West. Each of their releases to date has found them more fans and increased their influence, culminating in this year’s critically lauded Imidiwan: Companions from which Tenhert is drawn.

Another ‘holiday’ snap accompanies the track seeing as I am still in the sunshine… Not quite the desert of Mali but I hope that the image’s faded tones and African influences are overt enough to be appropriate. Just as soon as I can afford a trip to north Africa to take something closer to Tinariwen’s home I will do!

You can order Imidiwan: Companions from Amazon here

You can also download the album from Tinariwen - Imidiwan: Companions

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shotwithsound

shotwithsound is a blog about the music I love, with occasional forays into my photography, and other things that catch my eye.

You can see more of my photography on my website www.nicstevenson.com.