Chris Forsyth & Koen Holtkamp announce second joint LP, share “Long Beach Idyll”

Chris Forsyth and Koen Holtkamp have banded together to create the follow-up to 2012’s Early Astral, and one can only imagine how intense the recording session for this disc must’ve been. Titled The Island, the four-track album boasts dreamy, subdued instrumental work that somehow feels like the aftershock of a two-day studio tsunami: priceless musical instruments shattered over mixing boards in a fit of rage; drunk hangers-on playing with their Euroracks in the hallways; bathtubs full of “psychedelic fruit” and circus performers. Just check out this account of the debauchery: “Rehearsals for the sessions amounted to spending a couple days drinking wine, cooking, and hanging out on the beach at the Jersey Shore, and the rhythm and motion of the water seems to have had an undeniable effect on the session’s results.”

And we all know Forsyth is a certified rock star, with an appetite for destruction and albums of slow, attentive guitar-work — and, let’s not forget, righteously spacey collaborations with Koen Holtkamp. They’re exactly the kind of guys to throw a middle finger to life as industry pawns, strike out on their own, and rescue experimental music from its preoccupation with the nature of time or dying and being born in the same instance, or something. Both artists approach studio work with different perspectives, though: Forsyth with his guitar as a tool that can be captured and manipulated, Holtkamp using the space to elaborate on live electroacoustic work that emphasizes slow, methodical layering. I’m surprised both of them made it out of the astral plane alive.

The Island is out October 16 on Trouble in Mind Records. Check out the first single, “Long Beach Idyll.” It’s a blissful, slow-burning song and a big step away from Early Astral. Maybe this new LP signifies Forsyth and Holtkamp leaving their hard-partying rock star days behind them, but I doubt it.

The Island tracklist:

01. Sun Blind
02. Long Beach Idyll
03. Alternator
04. Cosmic Richard

[Photo: Ryan Collerd]

• Trouble in Mind:

Another former Coil member, Drew McDowall, announces debut solo album Collapse

Announced shortly after news of Tim Lewis’s return as Thighpaulsandra, another former Coil member Drew McDowall has detailed his first solo album, Collapse. The Scottish post-punk/industrial journeyman’s career has been devoted to exploring the dark confines of electronic music, using analogue synthesis as a common ground for drone-based compositions, industrial collages, and post-punk to coalesce. McDowall’s solo debut offers precisely that, recruiting Hiro Kone’s Nicky Mao to provide cut-ups and digital samples to his droning magma. The album’s first cut, “Hypnotic Congress,” is the best proof of that: featuring repetitive, ominous-sounding textures that throw back to “Warm Leatherette” or Richard H. Kirk’s work, but would not be out of place in Blackest Ever Black’s catalogue.

Born in Glasgow when it was one of the most violent cities in the world, McDowall was a gang member in his teens, until he found a way out of juvenile delinquency in punk rock. Around 1978, he formed The Poems alongside his wife Rose McDowall (who would later gain notoriety with the dream-bubblegum pop act Strawberry Switchblade). In the 80s, McDowall moved to London, becoming a member of the industrial/experimental circle of Throbbing Gristle offshoots Psychic TV and Coil. Although he played as a live musician with both bands, McDowall went on to become a full-fledged member of Coil in the 90s, taking part in over a dozen albums, including Astral Disaster, Musick to play in the dark Vol. 1, and Time Machines, where McDowall’s signature modular synth drones become the most apparent. Currently based in New York, McDowall very rarely performs live, though in recent years he has released several remixes and a string of collaborative albums with Psychic Ills’ Tres Warren under the Compound Eye banner.

Collapse is out of September 25 via Dais Records.

Collapse tracklisting:

01. The Chimeric Mesh Withdraws (Parts 1-3)
02. Hypnotic Congress
03. Through Is Out
04. Convulse
05. Each Surface of Night

[Photo: Gillian Leigh Bowling]

• Dais Records:

Former Coil member Thighpaulsandra announces The Golden Communion on Editions Mego

Maybe a partnership with Peter Rehberg’s Editions Mego label will allow Thighpaulsandra (Tim Lewis) to overcome the distributional road blocks that affected some of his previous solo work; try as we might to subtly condition people through the prominent grocery display of particular fruits touching each other, it seems a good portion of the world is still tragically bigoted and therefore irrationally disturbed at the sight of male homoeroticism. The final covers of Double Vulgar and Double Vulgar II are relatively tame compared to preferred imaginings, and Lewis’s desire to push the envelope and ignore society’s comfortable standards naturally extends to his music, which has previously seen incorporation in the music of legendary outfits Spiritualized and Coil.

Out this September, The Golden Communion is Thighpaulsandra’s first solo full-length in almost 10 years, which is around the time that Coil ceased to be, following founder Jhohn Balance’s unforeseen passing. The album is more than two hours long, and considering it’s been in the works more or less since that album “hiatus” began, you might be surprised that the physical two CDs or three LPs aren’t bearing their own wrinkles. Longtime collaborators Martin Schellar and Sion Orgon (who’s actually the other guy on this cover) helped to craft the epic, genre-shirking whole.

Here’s a track! It should sound like you’ve heard him before:

• Editions Mego:

iLoveMakonnen to release debut album in October

According to Billboard, iLoveMakonnen’s long-awaited debut album is set for release in October on October’s Very Own (OVO). The news was dropped Sunday by Makonnen himself at the Billboard Hot 100 Fest. No tracklist confirmations yet, but the Red Dragon has reportedly been in the studio with heavy-hitters like Rihanna, DJ Mustard, Diplo, Skrillex, and Aubrey Graham (Drizzy [Young Angel {Drake}]). (Maybe that Miley Cyrus collaboration will finally see release? Maybe another track with Lil B?)

News of the October release date for the new album, possibly titled ILoveMakonnen 2, was hinted at a couple weeks ago on Twitter.

In the meantime, make sure you’re properly in love and well-hydrated. More news coming soon.

• iLoveMakonnen:

Jim O’Rourke & Akira Sakata team with Chikamorachi & Merzbow on album for Family Vineyard

The sweet overlapping middle sector of the Venn diagram of the noise and free-jazz traditions continues to expand. A great harsh static jammer or electronics manipulator, like a great drummer or a great guitarist, can be transplanted into any sympathetic musical context and make his or her mark known in a diverse ensemble — just as a great guitarist or drummer can skronk with a ferocity analogous to an overdriven oscillator. With their mammoth catalogs preceding them, we can ID those infinitely versatile heavyweight players who can lock into informal collaborations, shred out some raw improv, and emerge with something unprecedented, simply because such a opportunity to work together hadn’t come along before.

Enter Flying Basket, the forthcoming 2xLP mega-jam monolith, featuring more noise/free-jazz heavyweights than one room should seemingly be able to contain. You’ve got living legend Akira Sakata pouring out the unhinged sax spirals, not content to rest on the laurels of four decades of boundary-pushing post-jazz transgressions. You’ve got Jim O’Rourke ripping out lacerating distorted guitar leads, taking a break from being a world-class producer, songwriter, synthesist, electro-acoustic wizard, bassist, etc. You’ve got Chris Corsano on the drums and Darin Gray on the bass, who shred so fiercely in their tandem hive mind (not to mention separately) that they’ve earned one name between them (Chikamorachi). And… you know, just one more casual bud thrown into this crew: Masami Akita a.k.a. Merzbow. No long explanatory clause necessary. And this is the first time Akita has ever played with Sakata??? What??

There’s this photo that appears around the 30-second mark of the album trailer video above, in which O’Rourke appears to be yelling into the pickups of his own guitar, Sakata is busy wailing, Gray and Corsano are vibing, all while Merzbow peers through sunglasses at his laptop like he’s the supreme yokozuna don of Noiseville. It’s beautiful. Enough to inspire me, for the first time, to utter the phrase “squad goals”* sincerely.

If the trailer doesn’t sate your hunger for shred, stream the nine-minute sample below, and look for Flying Basket September 18 via Family Vineyard.

Flying Basket tracklist:

01. Flying Basket, part 1
02. Flying Basket, part 2
03. Flying Basket, part 3
04. Flying Basket, part 4

*[a brief compendium of some other peerless squads: A, B, C.]

• Family Vineyard:

Little Wings extends his fall tour (after determining that his wings are too small to extend in any meaningful way)

Kyle Field, a.k.a. Little Wings, is a guy who DOES STUFF. In fact, shit; he’s already DONE ENOUGH STUFF in 2015 to call it a day and feel pretty good about it, including putting out the damn fine album Explains on the Woodsist label, playing plenty of gigs to support it, possibly taking a voice lesson or two, and learning how to make a halfway decent pour-over coffee at home.

But Kyle Field is NOT about to rest on his laurels, kids. Kyle is not DONE DOING STUFF. Nope. Not at all. Instead of chillaxing and cooling his tired little wings this fall (which is most certainly what I’d be doing), he’s decided to do STUFF in like two dozen places across the United States. Like, every day.

Okay, well, not literally “every day.” That’d just be way too much stuff. He’s not an idiot or a masochist or anything.

Little Wings fall tour:

09.05.15 - Portland, OR - Space Gallery #
09.06.15 - Portsmouth, NH - 3S Arts Space #%
09.08.15 - New Haven, CT - Lyric Hall #
09.09.15 - Providence, RI - Columbus Theatre #
09.10.15 - Brooklyn, NY - Rough Trade #
09.12.15 - Baltimore, MD - The Crown #
09.14.15 - Harrisburg, PA - Stage On Herr #
09.15.15 - Philadelphia, PA - Johnny Brenda’s #
09.16.15 - Lynchburg, VA - Speakertree Records #
09.17.15 - Durham, NC - Pinhook
09.18.15 - Asheville, NC - Mothlight
10.15.15 - Seaview, WA - Sou’wester Lodge
10.16.15 - Astoria, OR - Shively Hall
10.17.15 - San Juan Island - Cattle Point Barn Show
10.19.15 - Anacortes, WA - Anacortes Music Channel
10.20.15 - Victoria, BC - Copper Owl
10.21.15 - Vancouver, BC - Media Club
10.22.15 - Bellingham, WA - The Shakedown
10.23.15 - Seattle, WA - Sunset Tavern
10.24.15 - Portland, OR - Mississippi Studios *

# = Weyes Blood
% = Wovenhand
* = Helvetica, Sam Coomes

• Little Wings:
• Woodsist:

Basilica SoundScape 2015 reveals set times, brings in Godspeed You! Black Emperor for pre-event show

As 2015’s sea serpent September curls and flops into view, a lot of us are getting anxious. Some because we have to go back to school, some because we want summer to last forever (‘cause sweating and sunburns are funalicious!), and some still because we haven’t gotten our Basilica SoundScape 2015 tix. Naturally, I’m here for the latter, because it’s high time y’all hopped to.

And if you’re on the fence, well, get down off that fence! Those spires are gonna rip you up, man! Clamber down and click BUY for an early fall fest that seems to cater to the roiling dead leaf mulch in all of us. Doom and gloom, resplendently strapped with fervor and artistic purpose, await us all in that rusty miracle factory they call Basilica. I was there earlier in the summer for their 24-hour, all-night Dronefest and am happy to report that there is still no better place for immersive live listening in the northeast. The venue is as much of a destination as Perfume Genius, Wolf Eyes, Actress, and any of the other juggernauts it is housing on September 11. It is spacious and wander-friendly, with a nice out-of-the-way bar area and bathrooms with a shared ceiling. And they don’t just hurl a bunch of sets at you. Art, film, music, poetry, and food (an open-to-the-public brunch and small farmer’s market starts at 11 AM on Sunday) are deftly woven into the experience.

Peep the newly-announced, full-schedule details, including set times, and BUY like the wind.

And if two nights of the best experimental/dark pop going (plus these two, whom I’m probably most looking forward to) isn’t enough, there is a pre-show event on Tuesday, September 8. Canadian instrumental rock legends Godspeed You! Black Emperor will be mowing you down with their glorious tremolo anguish at 8 PM on that day. Purchases of this show will net you a discount for the weekend pass, so stop draggin’ those tootsies. Don’t bend, ascend! Lift them skinny fists! Git er done! Make like an exclamation point and flailingly declare yourself present!

• Basilica SoundScape:

Jason Lescalleet and Kevin Drumm release EP ahead of upcoming album on Erstwhile

Last year, Kevin Drumm and Jason Lescalleet teamed up to release The Abyss on the venerable Erstwhile label. TMT writer Matthew Phillips gave it a 5/5, and the album ended up slotting in at #5 on our year-end list. This week, the pair excitingly teams up again for Night and Day, a two-track digital EP released on Lescalleet’s Glistening Examples imprint.

“Celebrating the energy of the night, this release serves as a precursor to the duo’s upcoming album on Erstwhile Records,” according to the label.

Until the release of that Erstwhile album, which is expected in October, you can stream Night and Day below and grab a digital copy here.

In related news, Glistening Examples released Jean-Louis Huhta’s NO HISTORY NO FUTURE late last month, while Lescalleet recently dropped the 11th volume of his massive This Is What I Do series. Now go. Listen to ‘em all.

• Glistening Examples:

Kanye West replaces Frank Ocean at FYF Fest, both owe us albums

Frank Ocean owes us an album. Just kidding! But really, Frank Ocean owes us an album, so while it sucks that Frank has canceled his appearance at FYF Fest — “on his own terms,” as the press release puts it — perhaps he’ll surprise-drop the album this weekend?? Probably not, but if it’s any consolation, up-and-coming rapper/producer/megastar Kanye West is now headlining Saturday night’s main stage.

But wait, doesn’t that fucker owe us an album too!?

Kidding about calling him a fucker. I love Kanye. He should totally bring out Frank Ocean during “New Slaves.”

FYF Fest kicks off this Saturday at the L.A. Memorial Sports Arena & Exposition Park.

• FYF Fest:

Panda Bear surprise-drops new Crosswords EP, headlining shows in NY

Surprise! Similar to last year’s Mr Noah release, Panda Bear has surprise-dropped a new EP. Titled Crosswords, the EP takes its name from track #4 off his latest album, Panda Bear Meets The Grim Reaper, which was released earlier this year on Domino. The EP includes reworks of a couple tracks (“Crosswords,” “The Preakness”) and three new ones, “Jabberwocky,” “Cosplay,” and “No Mans Land,” the latter of which was premiered via Zane Lowe’s Beats 1 show minutes/hours/months/years/decades/”fuck you!!!” ago, depending on when you’re reading this.

Panda Bear will be in New York during CMJ, headlining a few shows at the Bowery Ballroom. Dates are below, preceded by the EP’s tracklist. The EP’s out now digitally, but will be out physically too on November 13 via Domino.

Crosswords EP tracklist:

01. Crosswords (EP Mix)
02. No Mans Land
03. Jabberwocky
04. The Preakness
05. Cosplay


10.09-11.15 - Miami, FL - Soho Studio (Ill Points Festival)
10.10-11.15 - San Diego, CA - CRSSD Festival
10.13.15 - New York, NY - Bowery Ballroom #
10.14.15 - New York, NY - Bowery Ballroom %
10.15.15 - New York, NY - Bowery Ballroom !
10.17-18.15 - San Francisco, CA - Treasure Island Music Festival

# PC Worship
% Image Man
! Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith, The Present


• Panda Bear:
• Domino: