It’s at that moment you know you’re being watched when adrenaline soaks all your muscles. Alone, but conscious of someone looking, the rush rips through your still body trying to find a sound. Beating into your psyche comes the natural pulse and flow of blood, which fills your eyes red, and all sounds are absorbed by that beating. In the tree line, you see the voyeur and start running. Imminent danger ahead, and possibly whirling whizzing past you, as running accelerates with each hard heartbeat. Distracted and jamming now to your own personal rhythm, you think about how deep creep-dance has been this year, with acts like Silent Servant, Vatican Shadow, and Mortiz Von Oswald Trio. Mm, yeah, and that Sublunar album Kane Ikin released this past September on 12k. Weird how his new video for “Rhea” is like the situation you’re in now.
Bish Bosch [album trailer]
From the man who gave us the phrase “Lemon Bloody Cola,” the man who can bring the indelible David Bowie to tears of joy, the man who can do justice to Jacque Brel like a perverse Sinatra, ladies and gentlemen, at long last here is a taste of Bish Bosch, Scott Walker’s latest album. If it makes you writhe a little to think that this guy — who on his last album used a pig carcass as a punching bag to make a drum track — would title his album with something that sounds like asinine gibberish, well, I guarantee the discomfort is calculated. I swear he and Frederick Seidel are soulmates. They should have a sit down for poems and tea.
Words like creepy and genius get brought up around Walker with deserved conviction, but what people don’t often talk about is just how beautiful his music can be. Or how the bass lines are just so sick on the second half of Tilt. At this point in his career, a new Scott album doesn’t really warrant speculation about its quality — the guy has been working in dimensions beyond almost anybody else for years — but more anxiety about how much bloodletting is necessary for us humble listeners to start seeing the visions and keep up.
So go watch this preview already! From what we can see and hear, this one seems like it’s gonna be samples from Scott Walker’s international buffet of third-world destitution and dictators. There’s even some hard-boiled astronomy. Also, the album is actually named in part after Bosch, the 16th-century master who painted this, so feel free to immerse. Here’s a good read to get you pumped. If you don’t already know Scott Walker’s voice, get ready for happy paroxysms. If you do know it, here come the flashbacks.
Bish Bosch is out December 4 on 4AD. You can pre-order it now.
Unlimited Dream Company
Amun Dragoon, who we admittedly know next to nothing about, has taken to SoundCloud to release Unlimited Dream Company, a 14-track dream simulation that swims its way through synthetic pop (“Secret Highway”), breathy new age (“SIMULATION PROJECT 1, ツキハナ「MOONFLOWER」”), and demented appropriations (“MEMORY INVOKE 059”), with a couple unexpected twists along the way (“JADE PASSAGEWAY”). The album is Amun’s envisaged future in which environmental love songs meet space-age broadband pop in a new age/new world data stream straight from Christmas Island, drifting in and out of clarity, shifting from one dimension to the next, exploring ways to achieve different levels of consciousness through the therapeutic yet sometimes ominous tones of 2108 A.D. This is what your dreams will sound like packaged up and sold back to you by a corporate entity. Depressing, yes, but exquisitely manufactured to satiate your every commodified whim and marketable desire.
Listen to Unlimited Dream Company below. For an artist who seems to exist only on SoundCloud, this is some pretty impressive stuff.
• Amun Dragoon: http://soundcloud.com/amun-dragoon
P-Higgs is back, and shit got WAY weird in a WAY-WAY good WAY! STEREO is the debut release under his given name, Patrick Higgins, as a double cassette of picks and pines on Words+Dreams. And you can tell he been hanging out with the ZS crew (Diamond Terrifier, Hubble) —err, actually he’s in ZS right now doing (of course) all sorts of good.
“Pointillist” is just a total juxtaposition of Patrick’s Bachanalia suites. Yet, I find it catchier, in a feverish sort of way. Weirdly, it almost sounds modular driven, as if he tried to cover a M. Geddes jam, yeah? This is like the eighth time I’m hearing this, and it’s just so encroaching. Like, slimy in a nylon-string (maybe?) sorta way. Crawling. Creeping. Put this on for Trick-or-Treaters come Beggar’s Night. But use this SoundCloud, which is limited to stereo. The quadraphonic version of Patrick Higgins’ STEREO three-part double cassette will be dropping hard on Words+Dreams November 8.
Ghostface Killah, M.O.P. & Pharoahe Monch
I don’t know if you know this, but RZA’s martial arts movie is coming out soon. The Man with the Iron Fists is the story of a noble blacksmith (RZA) who joins with warriors and assassins to save his community from invaders. It stars Russell Crowe and Lucy Liu, and the soundtrack is off the chain — there’s a Black Keys/RZA collab, Talib Kweli, Method Man, and even a cut from your mom’s favorite Starbucks singer-songwriter, Corinne Bailey Rae. “Black Out” comes off that same release; it’s a pugnacious piece of work featuring Ghostface Killah, M.O.P, Pharoahe Monch, and a whole lot of whoop-ass. Only thing it’s missing is Russell Crowe
Mamiffer / Pyramids
It was with much sadness that we received news of the ”imminent demise” of Hydra Head Records. For nearly 20 years, Hydra Head has been altering the way we think about heavy (and, occasionally, not so heavy) music, while simultaneously perfecting the art of unbelievably badass packaging. Their absence will be our loss. On a small, personal note: given the countless ways in which Hydra Head’s output has moved and shaped me over the last 15 years, it’s an honor to be premiering one of their final releases. Requiescat in pace, HHR.
On October 16, Hydra Head will release a split 12-inch from Mamiffer (Washington) and Pyramids (Texas). Although both artists will be releasing unique compositions, there is (to shamelessly borrow from the very accurate press release) a unity of vision — both sonic and emotional — at work here. You can preview the full split below, so I won’t waste too many words. Suffice it to say, however, that it — all of it — is a strange, gorgeous, and sometimes overwhelming mix of acoustics and electronics. In short, it’s a stunning release. Think Grouper meets William Fowler Collins. Think Jefre Cantu-Ledesma meets Neurosis. Or, hell, just think “Mamiffer” and “Pyramids,” as both have long since established themselves enough to be the bands to which other bands ought to be compared.
Furthermore, a limited-edition photo book by Faith Coloccia is available with the clear/black vinyl for an additional $5. Considering the work contained in the booklet accompanying the Locrian/Mamiffer collaboration (a personal and TMT favorite), I’d suggest you spend the extra $5.