Drone Pop #1 is the second album by cosmic drone-pop septet Documenta. Recorded over four days at Start Together Studios Belfast by Ben McAuley and the band, it also features additional production from David Holmes on ‘Love As A Ghost’. Influenced by the English guitar minimalism emanating from 1980s Rugby, the darkness and light of Detroit’s hit factory, and the German Kosmische set’s concrète groove - Documenta present a true psychedelia through repetition, melody and rhythm. A patient year-long process of experimentation and mixing - where the group added “washing machines, aircraft and the sound of Saturday night” - encouraged a fuller overall feel and a marked sonic progression. “We experimented at home quite a bit before returning to the studio so we got to stretch our imagination. We’re constantly learning as a band and this seemed like the next musical step.” Soul music in outer space.
Tracklist: 1:Idle Hands 2:Spanish Artist 3:Horror Vacui i 4:Selene 5:Love As A Ghost 6:Chiaroscuro 7:Horror Vacui ii 8:The Day My Heart Stood Still
It’s the first music to emerge from Camella Lobo’s project since the 2013 debut album, Restless Idylls, and features three new songs – ‘Stop Suffering’, ‘I Woke Up And The Storm Was Over’ and ‘When The Dog Bites’ – written and recorded by Lobo in LA, with additional production and mixing from Joshua Eustis (Sons of Magdalene, Telefon Tel Aviv). Lobo’s deeply romantic, fatalistic music has always luxuriated in sadness, and that isn’t about to change: themes addressed on Stop Suffering include, she tells us, “disappointing yourself and others…burning your own house down…temporary feelings with permanent consequences.” It is music steeped in pain and regret, certainly, but unlike TOC music of old, these new songs feel less about surrender: even if the title track does seem to address the S-M dynamic at the heart of any meaningful relationship (“For you the world feels so brand new / When you cut me like you do”). On the contrary, they are self-possessed and constructive, even confrontational, embodying the stark command of the EP’s title. This is not a record about loss, but about what comes after: and it is mature enough to know that what comes after is no walk in the park. Lobo identifies the idea of “self-help” as being particularly pertinent to these songs, and this comes across: rebirth, redefining the borders of the self, learning to be happy again. Gone, or at least receding, is that decadent, fin-de-siècle preoccupation with decay, with the end. Stop Suffering is a new beginning. The towering, time-stopping title track is the culmination of Tropic of Cancer’s work to date, and sets the tone for the entire EP. This is music at once intimate and immense. Rarely does an arrangement so sparse exhibit such grandeur: Joshua Eustis’s bravura mixing wrings spine-melting effect out of each component, and the dubwise harnessing of space and bass pressure first showcased on Restless Idylls is now a core, defining feature of the band. Lobo’s melodic gift has always been strong, but the hypnotic, monochord intensity that characterised TOC’s previous records gives way here to a more concrete song-narrative – which serves only to heighten the sensation of drowned-world psychedelia. Her divine alto still swims in reverb, but the words are clearer, there’s a resolve to communicate through the aqueous haze: “I hope you’ll forgive me…” ‘I Woke Up And The Storm Was Over’, which appears here in a slightly different mix to that which opens the vinyl-only Blackest Ever Black compilation I Can’t Give You The Life You Want, is no less mesmerising, further highlighting Lobo’s ever more sophisticated, painterly use of synth textures, not to mention her unmistakably plangent, otherworldly guitar work. She has spent a considerable amount of time crafting these songs, and it shows: for all that we cherish her earlier work, never has Tropic of Cancer sounded so poised, so assured, or so moving as it does today. The EP concludes with the elegiac, frozen-space ambience of ‘When The Dog Bites’; Lobo’s vocal is a radiant blur, consoling across a void of lonesome string-pads, vaporous noise and distant, tranquilized bass-drum detonations. “I’ve searched all the world,” Lobo sings on ‘I Woke Up…’, “And it turns out I want all the world.” With Tropic of Cancer it always comes back to longing: for the impossible, the irretrievable, the unrequitable.
Tracklist: 1:Stop Suffering 2:I Woke Up And The Storm Was Over 3:When The Dog Bites
Archive: The Downwards Singles collects on one 12” the three original songs from Tropic of Cancer’s brace of 2009-11 releases (now both out of print and highly sought-after), with new artwork by Silent Editions. The influence of Tropic of Cancer’s debut single, ‘The Dull Age’/’Victims’, on Blackest Ever Black cannot be overestimated. Indeed, it’s hard to imagine the label existing without it, such was its impact on us. In some respects, it’s BLACKEST000, the ur-Blackest record, and together with Raime’s EP demo it sketched the outlines of a universe we still inhabit, and are still exploring. Of course Tropic of Cancer would go on to release the The Sorrow Of Two Blooms on Blackest Ever Black two years later, and much else since (including debut album Restless Idylls), but ‘The Dull Age’/‘Victims’, and its 2011 follow-up ‘Be Brave’, retain a special place in our heart, and now, as we prepare to release a new EP from the band (Stop Suffering), we’re pleased to be able to resurrect them. It’s obvious now, as then, what the mesmerising, mantra-like ‘The Dull Age’ owes to the saturnine ambience of 4AD and the early ‘80s goth/post-punk nexus, but we’re freshly struck by the ancient folk-like purity of Lobo’s wordless, ship-swaying vocal refrain, and to the song’s clear echoes of Spector-grade 1950s death-discs: with its bruised rock-a-bye backbeat, skeletal arrangement and deep canyons of echo, the DNA of ‘The Dull Age’ can, we’d argue, be traced right back to The Aquatones’ ‘You’ or The Paris Sisters’ ‘I Love How You Love Me’. Lobo and Mendez’s confidence in repetition, crucial to the song’s effect, betrays not only a love of post-Velvets drone-rock but also an intimate understanding of minimal techno’s stasis-in-motion, while the wanton reverb worship invokes classic dream-pop/shoegaze, at the same time prefiguring the oceanic psychedelia of Tropic of Cancer’s own Restless Idylls and Stop Suffering. It is, as it always was, the sound of falling: into eternal darkness or eternal light, who can say? It’s the falling that matters. ‘Victims’ comes from the same place, dialling up the atmosphere of moody jangle; Lobo’s guitar and bass sting hard, a suggestively murmuring Mendez on vocal duties this time. If ’The Dull Age’ and ‘Victims’ were made for a small hours performance at the Roadhouse (Lynchian is an over-used descriptor these days, but these narcotic, time-warping dream-songs surely warrant it), then the void-gargling darkwaver ‘Be Brave’ is for the wired motorcycle ride home. It’s still trance-music, it’s still morbidly romantic, but this time the devil is in on its back: there’s an urgency and aggression to proceedings. Here we’re introduced to the Suicide-al motorik rhythm that would carry on over into ‘A Color’ and other subsequent TOC cuts; Mendez’s voice leads, ricocheting with reverb and delay, channelling Mallinder and Minimal Man, but, as the pedal hits the floor, it’s Lobo’s moaned, amorphous backing part that exerts the most power – the voice of a dead lover watching over you, or perhaps beckoning you to join her. Archive: The Downwards Singles is a record in the truest sense: an artefact and memorial of a time and a place that can never be revisited or relived. The ultimate post-punk, post-techno death-disc, and a very proud, overdue addition to the Blackest Ever Black catalogue.
Why don't you do yourself a favor and get this through your moldy rind ASAP: Future Punx are punk. Punker than the Tragedy tattoo you got in 2006 and try to forget about. Punker than your "transgressive" Soundcloud-noise-wankery and the fascist imagery you childishly borrowed for the logo. Punker than your dangly earring and your stupid switchblade that you will literally never use, and yes dear reader, punker than YOU. The members of Future Punx have all taken the traditional punk trajectory; playing in crust, garage, weird-punk, hardcore punk bands, and by virtue of thinking for themselves becoming what they were always meant to be: FUTURE PUNX. For far too long the Punx have been a well-kept New York secret. The band, formed in the aftermath of FERGUS & GERONIMO, have become a well-oiled live machine over the last three years. Near-constant gigging at New York institutions like Baby’s Alright, Palisades and Silent Barn have found them fiercer than ever, evidenced in 'This Is Post-Wave', their first full length LP. On the self-produced album, Future Punx solidify their vision of a genreless approach to musical creation, finding a focused, diverse and open-hearted approach to exploring the astral planes of punk. Both sonically and conceptually, 'This Is Post-Wave' takes the group to new places. It shouldn't be surprising that the title reads like that of a manifesto, as the opening, titular track is just that. Telling both the bands' cosmic origin-story and ideological agenda, the song ends with an exciting refrain: “Liberate at any rate, don't hesitate, THIS IS POST-WAVE”
Tracklist: 1:Post-Wave 2:Endless Growth 3:Travel with our Minds 4:Manhattan Loverboy 5:Any Other Way 6:We'll Play 7:Grand Scheme 8:The Punchline 9:The Joke 10:I've Been Wrong Before 11:Ever You Go 12:How to Dance 13:No Safety Net 14:Ahead of Yourself 15:Pre-Wave