Category Archives: salem

20jazzfunkgreats best of 2010: Paranormal Beauty Contest

As we approach thee end of 2010, we open the gun locker, gaffer tape a flashlight to our pump action shotgun and slide into the vietcong tunnels of what went on this year. There be monsters there.

Being the all encompassing unstandardised weirdoes that we are, we make no attempt at ranking our choices, or to classify them by format. We just about manage to drop them into different buckets which aren’t quite genres, but a chromatic scale of the kirlian aura colours that they impressed upon us.

Let’s begin with black. Things that go slash in the night.

Chris Carter – The Space Between: Optimo music present to us a resurrected artefact from the dawn of our current philosophies.  Instrumental sides to the freestyle battles of Gods.

Chris Carter – Clouds (posted 2008)

Cold Waves and Minimal Electronics Vol. 1.: An urban survival guide for the modern existential hero. Can be read as a cyberpunk anthology, or as a collection of fashion tips for the cavalcade of the damned.

Eleven Pond- Watching Trees (posted in 2009)

Florene – Homemade Extacy. Those blips you see breaking the speed limit in your radar, lt. Strumpf, as you swig on your hip flask behind a battered roadside advert in the scorching Texan night, they aren’t your average joy riders. No, they are the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, and they are looking for a rave.

Florene- Homemade Extacy (new post)

Gatekeeper: Giza.Herr Mannheim, I think that upgrading the operating system of our robotic assembly line with a code sequence downloaded from an anonymous source located somewhere in the sidereal voids wasn’t such a hot idea.

Gatekeeper- Serpent (posted Dec 6th)

Indian Jewelry: Totaled. Dorothy is bored in her house in the middle of the desert. A whirlwind takes her to a world of impossible colour . She jacks a pickup truck and storms down the yellow paths with her gang of metal men and talking beasts, under a black cloud of flying monkeys. Oz is toppled and anarchy ensues.

Indian Jewelry- Excessive Moonlight (posted May 18th)

Liars: Sisterworld. This is the sort of pop music that fills the airwaves in those desolate places where prepubescent worshippers of a pagan cult slaughtered all the adults.

Married in Berdichev: Readying. Walking down the private collection of the Hunterian museum at night, where beauty stands still, preserved in aspic.

Married in Berdichev- I Need the Sun (posted July 27th)

Model Man – Shouldn’t I be Dead by Now? Dry ice and airbrushed laser beams thunder over a brutal coastline as Tron’s less binary characters engage in fatalistic plans for their escape.

Model Man – Shouldn’t (posted October 18th)

Mueran Humanos: S/T. The dead are not quiet in Mueran Humanos’ album. Within, walls continue upright, bricks meet, floors are firm, and doors are sensibly shut. Silence lies steadily against the wood and stone. And we who walk here… walk alone.

Mueran Humanos: Festival de las Luces (New post)

Psychic Ills- FRKWYS 4: Doomsday ragas kinaesthetically synchronised with the infra-red output of the Predator’s mask, while manhunting in the Arabian desert.

Psychic Ills- Mantis (Juan Atkins Remix) (Posted August 26th)

Puerto Rico Flowers: 4. Me and Bauhaus getting it on in the abandoned abattoir (a love story).

Puerto Rico Flowers: Let’s Make Friends (new post)

Salem – King Night: Filling 20JFG’s lungs with bewitching dreams since 2008, Salem deliver the album that brushes past any middling concerns of genre partisans.  Exquisite beauty lurking beneath waves of delay and syrup.

Salem – Frost (New Post)

Scorpion Violente: Uberschleiss. The Gabber Meinhof aren’t a wild bunch of decadent noisemongers hellbent on collapsing society by industrial means. No, they are the research & development department of the survivalist massive, prototyping sonic armaments to be deployed against the undead hordes crawling from an oversubscribed hell.

Scorpion Violente: Viol et Revanche (posted October 18th)

Teeth of the Sea: Your Mercury. Sexual transcendence you achieve while your flesh dissolves under the leathery wings of the bat people of The Beastmaster.

Teeth of the Sea: A.C.R.O.N.Y.M. (posted October the 7th)

Xander Harris – Urban Gothic Synth drenched ode to Brian Keene.  A mix tape of all our favourite horror scores ripped to shreds and assembled into terrifyingly catchy shapes.

Xander Harris – Opening Credits (posted August 20th)

Salem-XXJFG Mix

Featuring : Podcast + salem

Our heart kin, Salem, have been good enough to stitch together for us a disarming patchwork of haunted juke hall malevolence, cave crunk atmospherics, brain breaking tekno noise, and crackling transmissions from a childhood spent floating down beautiful starlit rivers in the constant glare of hidden monsters. Thank you smoke.

1-PEARL – Pearl’s Dream
2-NEOPHYTE – I will have that power
3-DJ NATE – I’m a Burn
4-DJ NATE – Ghostmix
5-YOUNG CREAM – Angie Juke
6-AiDS 3D – Back Once Again (Forever)
7-THA POPE – Track 41
8-UNKNOWN – Track 20 Chicago Juke
9-NEOPHYTE – Catastrophe
10-THREAT MISSES – Juke that Girl

Salem XXJFG Mix

Pink Fog


If Ariel Pink was to one day awake from the 1980s dizz-ney landscapes that inhabit his semi comatose mind where the sunbaked California streets lined with friendly faced anthropomorphized apple pie trees are alive with bleached, drooling beach bunnies in black ray-bans and pink scrunchies hitching rides with perma-tanned creeps in white suits driving busted up night rider cars that blast out tinny, warped Fleetwood Mac songs and compete with the sounds of the crazed day-glo freaks dressed up like various McDonalds characters (Grimace the Purple Blob on drumpads) playing Adam Ant covers with pastel keytars that emanate from the boulevard corners, chances are he might sound a little like Golden Birthday who in “Exposure” have crafted a wonky dew eyed, fuzz-synth bliss ballad that would be perfect for playing the penultimate scene in a future-fantasy John Hughes movie where inside an empty auditorium a beautiful robotized Molly Ringwald dances all alone beneath the light show of a rotating mirrorball reflecting off her chromium body in a sea of silver balloons, before running out into the night air to find her beloved for a midnight kiss in the pixelated pink fog.

Golden Birthday – Exposure


Recently there’s been a stupid wealth of goodness drifting out of Canada; the slo-mo disco of Tuxedomask, the black lipped Kate Bush, marble floor murder chic of Parallels, and the shamanic gabba rhythms and jagged trance waves rode on by Basketball. Babe Rainbow is another magnificent sea-shell washed up on our shores, except when we put our ears to this shell we don’t hear the serenity of the sea, but the cavernous, bombastic sound of inverted dubstep cave recordings documented beneath an oppressive futuristic mega city that constantly rumbles above with the noise of titanic machines in the midst of a apocalyptic takedown.

Babe Rainbow – Popcommon



Our heart kin, Salem, have been good enough to stitch together for us a disarming patchwork of haunted juke hall malevolence, cave crunk atmospherics, brain breaking tekno noise, and crackling transmissions from a childhood spent floating down beautiful starlit rivers in the constant glare of hidden monsters. Thank you smoke.

1-PEARL – Pearl’s Dream
2-NEOPHYTE – I will have that power
3-DJ NATE – I’m a Burn
4-DJ NATE – Ghostmix
5-YOUNG CREAM – Angie Juke
6-AiDS 3D – Back Once Again (Forever)
7-THA POPE – Track 41
8-UNKNOWN – Track 20 Chicago Juke
9-NEOPHYTE – Catastrophe
10-THREAT MISSES – Juke that Girl

Salem XXJFG Mix



Lastly Dummy Magazine recently asked XXJFG’s gum chewing, back of the bus sista blog So Bones to make them a mix which is now available for all those who may wish to hear Britney Spears vomit and chant over a black-funk forest floor of twitching stripper limbs alongside various other goldplated fidget funk robo-workouts. CLICK HERE and N-joy.


Bone Tones

With the reissue of the most excellent “Betrayed in the Octagon” LP on No Fun, Oneohtrix Point Never are finally getting more recognition. The LP is a wondrous clash of sinuous organic totems and sheer metal floating mosaic patterns, a battle watched by the 2001 homo-sapiens as a bone turns into a spacecraft. Its an image glimpsed in a mirror at the end of a generation and with tracks like “Woe is the Transgression I” OPN easily weaves horrific terror into tone-perfect tranquillity. The title track follows a team of explorers entering the ear of a giant crash-landed Mega Man covered in rust and battle scars. “Laser to Laser” pins a star beam to the point directly in the middle of these two styles. Previous readers have left comments expressing a desire to climb into OPN’s tracks, and “Laser to Laser” is a perfect gateway to the warm comfort of a cybernetic womb, cradled in a sea of robotic nerve endings, watching as the plumes of cloudy synths spread across a sulphuric sky and My Bloody Valentine records drape over tree branches like Salvador Dali clock faces.

Oneohtrix Point Never – Laser to Laser

Oneohtrix Point Never mixtape transmogrifying to 2OJFG soon…

This month, SALEM follows up the soundtrack to ecliptic smoke beings on Merok Records with their happiest song (its still about Ketamine though) on Japan-based label Big Love. “OhK” is backed by “Sweat (l)” a gurgling fear anthem for Team Sertraline. Guaranteed to be one of those mad scrambles to the Rough Trade/Puregroove digital record shops; 300 copies fast diminishing to zero.


“OhK” is one of the achingly tarnished silver and reversed wicker-cross torch songs that Heather sings over, a surprisingly upbeat shuffling 4/4 thud, lit by the frozen morning sun as lost souls stumble from the underground into life again, only to be punctured by tendrils of serrated keyboards, deafened by shrill death rattles from a Roland MC-505 graveyard.

∆ ∆ ∆ ∆ ∆ ∆ ∆ ∆ ∆ ∆ ∆ ∆ ∆ ∆ ∆ ∆ ∆ ∆ ∆ ∆ ∆ ∆ ∆ ∆ ∆ ∆ ∆

For yet more of SALEM’s fever dreams head to SO BONES, the newly established blog from Robin and Steve, featuring odes to the translucent androidical beauty of Cassie and Ciara, the chrome and crystal knuckleduster chic of Usher’s most mental (and therefore unreleased) ice ballads, Lil Wayne’s feral malfunctioning robot vocals oozing over filth-rhymes, The Underdogs Italo-baiting neon-monolithic productions, and so much more….

(no Akon or Flo-Rida and no ill-advised collaborations with Enrique Iglesias, promise)

Swaying in Woe

Black Meteoric Star’s impending arrival on Earth is marked by harbingers of planetary pressure walls – black linear schisms mapping forbidden languages across the dusk skies, earthquakes cracking the surface of Mars as it draws closer to its terrible alignment with Earth, an ice cold pinprick of darkened dread on the back of the neck during a torrid sleepless night, and a new remix from the grand wizard himself Gavin Russom is etched into black vinyl.

Petar Dundov – Oasis (Gavin Russom Remix)

Petar Dundov can make the kind of rumbling and glistening techno that nestles snugly somewhere in between Matthew Jonson and Analog Fingerprints. But on last years “Escapements” LP, synthpop, balearic italo and stuttering beatless sound is thrown into the mix. Then when the high priest of synths, Gavin Russom, gets hold of it and shatters it across a foreboding alien synthesised landscape, all is transformed into a liquid analogue 15-minute fear anthem, clicking into mechanical life and making way for an apocalyptic refrain of fried guitar.

So then to another of our favourites, the sublime echoing crunch-terror of SALEM. Head to Merok for the newly released 7″ featuring sinister as fuck break-light in smoke artwork and “water”, “Redlights” and “Whenusleep” all inscribed on red vinyl. Plus, there is also new track, “Skullcrush”.

SALEM – Skullcrush

Heres the sound of anger and torment. A fresh scar is cut deep with every fluctuation thats interrupted by a buzzsaw hi-hat or processed out-of-time beat. There are three sides to SALEM. First there is the ethereally cracked beauty of Heather’s vocals on tracks like “OhK” and “Deepburn”. Secondly, there is the warped grime funeral procession of “imasheet” and “Trapdoor”, then there is the spectral horrordisco of the male-led vocal of tracks like “Dirt” or “haffa”.

“Skullcrush” fits into the third with strangled effects, bullet hole beats fractured into another entirely different rhythm and vocals from a flash-burnt throat. Underneath a grey abandoned town, a series of tunnels echo with the woeful mourn of a synthesiser played by a ghost, distorted by the water dripping upon it from the ceiling above, crackling in its ruined state and synchronising the scathing aural affects of “Skullcrush” to the steady waves of anguish pulsating from the hidden recesses where not even a ghost would dare tread.


March 3rd, 7.30pm, the Barbican, London

Two titans of the world of post punk will be hitting London in March – the rhythm queens of New York who put the funk into funk, ESG, and the jittering ska-disco of A Certain Ratio who were as much the sound of Frankie Knuckles as they were James Chance.


Murdered Ballads Redux

Featuring : salem


With synthesized cacophony, thundering forwards, rolling over hills under a shadow of witch-hour darkness arriving in an impenetrable fog that usually brings with it a wave of unexplainable death and destruction, White Ring emerge from the ether with true dark hearted disco intent, like a sister of Salem who’s rocked back and forth for endless hours in a lightless room to the screech of Mika Miko in a cough syrup stupor, while from the outside her brother subjected and pounded the walls around her with ghostly crunk beats blasted out of a broken boom box that transforms any of it‘s emanations into something monstrous and disturbed. They dance on the bones of former Cash Money heroes, their corpses still adorned with precious bling, now covered in rotten excrement and dirt, worms weaving in between knuckleduster holes while ants march across diamond grillz stripped of all their flash, unaware of the evil their about to unleash around them.

White Ring- Suffocation

…and SALEM continue to astound us. With every new track that emerges from the clinically static white of the myspace page, we get closer to the centre of the forest that is the desolate grey heart of this band. There is so much emotion saturating each sound, even the brittle processed drum beats beat like the fevered heart of a murder victim in the last spasms of hope for rescue.

SALEM – haffa

20JFG does NYC again this Friday. Do.not.miss.


The Dark

Featuring : Nico + salem

Its too exciting a prospect that Salem will be recording new material, fact.

When this is we do not know, but soon it will come, like impending nightfall when your stuck in the old cemetery in deepest, darkest Dunwich – its all about the fear of the unknown/that advancing noise in the cold black air? If you’ve even heard one song by Salem, you’ll know what we mean: Dubstep’s violent shadow, following malevolently through ruined city streets, slight rainfall, flickering street lamps, cobalt clouds glowing in the pitch dark skies; or maybe Suicide sex-changed and handed a load of grime records spliced with the more twisted elements of ‘Silent Shout’ by The Knife; or JME as a goth serial killer, listening to John Carpenter disco 12″ edits backwards at 33rpm.

Salem – Minemine

‘Minemine’ isn’t really that new, but it does show progression from the handful of onyx gems that have peppered both the myspace/myspace pages. Ethereal vocals echo through airless chambers underground as bass reverb from discos at ground level carry the synths through dark waters and onward to decaying stone formations. Here be the source of the vocal lamentations, a wounded girl flung to the stale grey ether, lost in the cycling tales of her past prime and subsequent dethroning at the hands of a false young man.

The extra elusive Salem 7″ ‘Yes I Smoke Crack’ should have crept to UK stores by now – start the hunt at Rough Trade or Pure Groove.

UPDATE: check out new video for ‘Dirt’ – gas-based suicide & boobs + wtf awesomeness = ART

What better way to accompany Salem’s depleting digital cloudscapes in timeless vacuums than with amphetamine-riddled fear and loathing in Cologne, Germany from Nico?

Soon after the release of ‘Nico: The Frozen Borderline 1968-1970’ last year, Robin wrote a frozen postcard warning of the horrors that came with falling too far into second solo LP, ‘The Marble Index’.

But if that LP was the sound of Nico hurtling through an abyss of despair and wretched cerebral violence, then 1974’s ‘The End’ was a collection of poems based on what she found at the bottom of the chasm – a crystalline network of inverted hanging gardens, mirroring all the evils that the brain can muster, and presenting them to her as darkly beautiful portraits of past events and buried emotions. Nico is now locked in her own plain, never to return.

‘It Has Not Taken Long’ rides in on the waves of an acidic ocean like a child’s nursery rhyme written by Lilith and ‘You Forgot To Answer’ careers through arid wastelands of heroin addiction with backing vocals by past victims of the drug. Armies of the dead are conjured on ‘We’ve Got The Gold’ to trudge through the countryside spreading arcs of skeletal fear. Nico even turns in a credible cover version of The Doors on the title track, casting the central American deserts favoured by Jim Morrison, in a frozen decay filled with murder and suicide lit by the red moonlight. But its only on ‘Innocent & Vain’ when she manages to punch through to an entirely alien realm, reality cascading to the ground as the sound of armageddon via solar flares melts away the air to create a doorway to unknown places – Nico reading from her diaries, the words working this magic:

Nico – Innocent & Vain