Kevin Gan Yuen
If Bay Area avant-metal noiselords Sutekh Hexen just aren’t prolific enough to satisfy your insatiable deathlust, I bid you cast your eye over the great plains to Utech Records. Milwaukee’s finest doom emporium, whose catalog has featured the likes of Locrian, Suzuki Junzo, and Fushitsusha (!!) throughout its ten year existence, has issued a piece of solo music by Sutekh Hexen member/album art guru Kevin Gan Yuen, entitled The Emerald, on 8-inch lathe cut record.
If the piece starts in legible six-string territory, with effected field recordings and ominous drones draped over pinprick arpeggios, the decayed remains of your sanity really hit the fan when Yuen begins to conjure quavering swathes of granular synth-like dark energy from his guitar. “The Emerald” drifts through a remarkably diverse palette of sounds and concisely encapsulates Sutekh Hexen’s mind-fuck strategies into six minutes of static-seared aggression, mastered to speaker-splitting clarity by the mighty Rashad Becker. Like spiritual forefathers Coil or modern-era Ulver, Yuen maximizes the deliberate pace of his studio practice to dial in finely detailed tones before layering them into the overarching composition, distilling hours of patient manipulation into a single burst of cinematic terror.
The Emerald is available only as a promo item from Utech Records, and will be included randomly in orders from the label while supplies last.
“Dissolution Into Clear Light”
That Chasms frontwoman Jess Labrador was inspired by a copy of the Tibetan Book of the Dead passed her way by creative partner Shannon Sky Madden comes as no surprise, considering the title and structure of their newest song, “Dissolution Into Clear Light.” Especially in this context, the phrase calls to mind the experiences of death, decomposition, transcendence; revelation, enlightenment, moments of clarity; and the ending of a film or transition between scenes. All of these are evoked by the song, as droning bass and guitar decompose beneath floating beams of blissful synth, while the credits roll for Chasms’ first complete project, which began with the When It Comes EP, continued with the Riser EP and now concludes with Subtle Bodies, a “milky clear” vinyl LP comprised of songs from both EPs, as well as this previously unissued “11-and-a-half minute exploration of tension and release [that] climaxes in a rift of satisfying chaos, ending in woeful euphoria.”
Subtle Bodies drop June 17 on Sleep Genius; pre-orders available at their website.
“Nem tudo que ferve é vapor” / “Vapor Bubble Gum / Word Tutorial” / “ピッチファック”
Yo, y’all ready for this $Real$ vaporwave action? Well, The Innernettes about to bird-call off on ya telephone, so anss-ahh ya telephone! Three straight-G Brazilian v-wave videos getting in on the always fading topic: The Innernettes. RIGHT! Above is the video for “Nem tudo que ferve é vapor” (or “Not all that boils is vapor”) is not only as dark as the music/melody/sludging/twinkling, but equally curious in meaning. As vaporwave is always fleeting, the interpretation could be different with the video for (and DEFINITELY the song) “Nem tudo que ferve é vapor.” Essentially, though, it’s corporate attack.
Next up is “Vapor Bubble Gum / Word Tutorial.” It starts off more like a Ferrari Jackson tune, but with the video (I assume the segment…) “Vapor Bubble Gum,” I assume there’s some sort of underlining commentary here about, like - *smile* *smile* *smile* *DO IT* *smile* And there’s “Word Tutorial,” which is just a berate of THIS IS SOMETHING REGAL AND IMPORTANT AND LISTEN AND LEARN AND LANGUAGE! Barriers of language can only be crossed in art. The Innernettes commands this barrier be brought to its knees.
The final video below for “ピッチファック” (which Google Translate says it means “Pitch Fuck”) looks like the super mature, anti-commercial break, and product-placement driven Japanese version of Blossom. Then, zones go to a maximum of out-takes and “remember-whens” as The Innernettes take both sampled sounds and sporadically clipped videos to next level colors and creation. Yet, setting fire to the unreal is The Innernettes mode of operation, no?
For the win, I’ve included The Innernettes’ newest release Hi mom! streaming below:
• The Innernettes: https://theinnernettes.bandcamp.com
19 Jewels EP
Throwing Shade, the moniker of London producer Nabihah Iqbal, has just dropped a new EP, titled 19 Jewels. The release, her first since last year’s “Mystic Places” 12-inch on Kassem Mosse’s Omnira imprint, sees the ethnomusicologist and NTS Radio DJ proffering five spacious, ambient tracks that swirl in slow-motion around low-key beats and mellifluous, airy synths. It’s incredibly understated, riding on cliches and non-Western signifiers, but in the context of this relatively faceless obfuscation of transnational identity and meaning-making, it works well. These sounds don’t command attention; they exhale, explore, and expand, filling space like smoke before shimmering off without saying goodbye.
Grab the EP on vinyl via No Pain in Pop, and stream the whole thing here:
Snag Sea Levels NOW from Styles Upon Styles Records, and listen to the full 12-inch below: