Thursday, July 22, 2010

Burning Minds presents...GAY SCIENTIST RECORDINGS

First, apologies for the defunct state of this blog, hoping to get it started back up when I return to Oakland after a summer working on farms.

In any case, I am posting today to announce that myself and a friend have started a diy recording label, Gay Scientist Recordings. In line with the Burning Minds ethos, we plan to release works in a variety of media by artists pushing the boundaries of what has come before them, but here you can expect a particular focus in the realm of doom, powerviolence, black metal, hardcore, and noise.

I won't harp too long cuz you can here more about what we are doing at the website, but I will take just a moment to hype our first release. After back-cataloging the at-times infamous Kentucky Fried Doom/Sea Legs split cassette Gorekraken Bongdirge as GSR #000, we are ever-so-siked to be releasing the U.S. version of Urarctica Begins, the debut release from Montreal's crusty doomsters Ensorcelor. You can stream the entire EP on the GSR site but since I know some of you are lazy fucks I've posted the first track in its entirety below. Enjoy, my beloveds.

01 A Crown of Smoke on the Brow of the Earth

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Duobetic Homunkulus - Cásti a Mechanismy Stroju (2006)

Here's a demo from a totally strange Czech death metal outfit. This band is ex-!T.O.O.H!, an excellent death/grind band whose albums I used to own until I lent them to some thieving idiot friend of mine. Anyway, this band is really weird and they fucking destroy. I don't know what else to say. This will fuck with your head. Eat some drugs and download it.

By the way, these tracks were made available for free by the band because they're such nice guys, so buy their full length when it comes out soon!

Confessor - Condemned (1991)

Here's some doom metal... I guess. This album is pretty weird, especially in the vocal department. I cant think of any band I'd compare Confessor with, but the off beat nature of the drums sort of reminds me of a precursor to Meshuggah or something at times - not that I know what I'm talking about, I don't know shit about music theory. Anyway try this album out. Chances are you haven't heard anything quite like it.

Mörser - Two Hours to Doom (1997)

Here's some fucking insane German hardcore shit. This album is a shining example of what's come to be known as "bremen style" hardcore or the "per koro sound." It's sort of like a marriage between 90s metallic hardcore and aggressive, tremolo-picked European "screamo" riffs that seem to hum out of the speakers. Don't let the emo reference put you off- this is about as scathing and wimp-free as music gets. Two Hours to Doom is so blazing fast that its basically grindcore, and if memory serves this band has 4 vocalists and 2 bass players. Ridiculous, amazing album. Your head will be spinning. Get it now.

K-Rino - Triple Darkness Vol. 2 (The Lyrics)

Here's one of my favorite albums by my favorite rapper. This is available on a bunch of other blogs, but what the hell - most of the Burning Minds readership haven't heard this, and thats a crime. K-Rino sits easily among the nastiest lyricists of all time. He's been in the game for over 20 years, has about as many albums, and is the founder of H-town supergroup the South Park Coalition. Yet somehow he is still underrated as fuck. Triple Darkness Vol. 2 is his 2nd album (of 4 total) from 2008, released on his own label Black Book International (so-called after the black binders in which he scribbles his material). This album is full of extremely clever wordplay, complex multi- and meta-rhymes, unusual vocabulary, hilarious punchlines, and plenty of devil-hating Nation of Islam theology. Straight hard-hitting lyrical skillz the way hip hop ought to be - proof that the South can make conscious rap just as good or better than anything from Queensbridge or Brooklyn. If you enjoy lyrical rap you need to get this right now. You'll thank me.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Salamander - Birds of Appetite (2003)

Salamander is a band I know next to nothing about (you can find a more complete bio at Camera Obscura); based out of Minneapolis, this troupe of psychedelic marauders has apparently been turning out their own smoldering brand of space rock since the early 90's, although the label bio linked to above would seem to suggest the band's currently status as one of semi-permanent hiatus. While the basic instrumentation here is somewhat standard psych-rock fare (guitar/bass/drums), the band prides itself on both its non-traditional use of said rock instrumentation and its use of non-traditional rock instrumentation, including "hammered dulcimer, shenai (an oboe-like instrument), and something they call the 'space whistle'." This particular album, 2003's Birds of Appetite, was my first introduction to these masters of ambiance (though I have no idea how or where I discovered it), and it remains my favorite of their works.

While the Om-like album opener 'Vessel is Vacant' suggests strict Summer of Love worship with its tablas and half-chanted vocals, it's eventual descent into gentle drone foreshadows the album's subsequent minimalist turn. On Birds, Salamander is most successful at creating long, smoldering songs that utilize crescendo much as a post-rock band might without falling into the conventions of that most amorphous of genres; for all of it's bombastic song lengths (it does feature four songs over the eight-minute mark), this album has a distinct late-night psych feel matched by a earthy, folkish tone. With little or no vocals on most of the sparsely layered tracks, the music is left here to speak for itself, evoking a mystical, haze-ridden atmosphere with a drummer and lead guitar player who make no attempt to mask the influence of Indian classical music on their playing styles. The band's name - which comes to us from a semi-mystical animal thought in ancient times to be born of fire - is a perfect fit for the mood achieved here, at once brooding, lysergic and somehow vaguely alchemical.

Those of you with a Paypal account can still get the 'Birds of Appetite' CD here, or download it from us.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Gong - Pre-Modernist Wireless: Peel Sessions 1971-74

First off, thanks to postcooksey for shame-kicking my lazy ass into restarting this once-stagnant blog. I have a slew of to-be-posted albums on my desktop, and it is time for me to get to work on them. Here's goes.

This album, which is actually not an album at all, compiles the appearances of trans-continental prog champions Gong on the legendary John Peel show on BBC Radio. Gong, a band of tripped-out fuckheads that is almost as famous for its bizarre mythology as for the idiosyncratic music it produced, show themselves here as a capable live act, with the songs losing none of their charm whatsoever without the playground of a studio (a common trait of late-60's sike, where production techniques often masked boring, by-the-book pop numbers as bold and experimental). In fact, what this set accomplishes is to demonstrate that for all the conceptual wonder-pinnings of their long-form concept albums, Gong wrote fucking great self-contained songs that hold up even without spoken-word interludes about 'pot-head pixies' and the like (not that there's anything wrong with that!). From acid-folk ('Magick Brother') to irreverent ska ('Clarence in Wonderland') and of course the cosmic anthem "You Can't Kill Me," Gong provides one of those rare listening experiences that feel like one has been temporarily transported into the mind of a lunatic, only to discover that it's actually a lot more fun than the so-called 'real world' (a dull waste of time, this author can assure you).

For those of you unfamiliar with Gong's studio output, you can find their essential first five albums over at Black Acid; as a hint, the band generally followed the era's transition from psychedelic to progressive rock, with their early works resembling an especially spaced-out take on late-60s psych, exploding into full-blown prog with the infamous "Radio Gnome Trilogy."

It seems to be out of print but you can find "Pre-Modernist Wireless" as a $45 import on Amazon, or opt for sheer musical piracy here.