Featuring : Ebi

Ebi is Susumu Yokota making acid house music in 1994. It has a shrimp in the front-cover (see below) and it sounds blue, blue like the image results when you google ‘AI’, blue like memories of Keanu in Johnny Mnemonic, blue like the background for the best Netrunner ICE breaker card ever devised, an ocean of chrome providing the backdrop for a grid of digital poison that stretches into infinity. If Daft Punk had been Singularitarians, this would have been their Homework.

We are currently playing Pandemic Legacy and Ebi fits it like a glove. The oppressive throb of the virus relentlessly spreading, the acid squelches of its unpredictable mutations, the thrillingly tacky technoid vibe mapping the jaggy journey of a cursor jerking over the abominable user-interface for the government-procured geographical information system where the intrepid CDC researcher is tracking down the source of the outbreak. Pam pam pam pam pam, Sandra Bullock gotta be there somewhere.

We could go on for ages. If you are us, Ebi is nirvana.

Ebi – Kai

More info about Zen (where Kai comes from) in discogs.

Appendix: Shrimp artwork

The Vanity Wars

Featuring : Brian Case

Arising from the eerie hum of unknown machines, Brian Case’s cover of Ship Building taps into the electronic terror of the early 80s.  It’s a cover from an alternate timeline where Elvis Costello gave the song to Throbbing Gristle rather than Robert Wyatt.  Of course in this timeline TG were fronted by Alan Vega as Genesis was busy being Postmaster General, but I digress.

Case’s version is relentless, built on a thudding drum pattern, distant explosions and the electronic hum that most approximates a fly sparing with an electric light.  It’s Industrial in the same way that Eraserhead’s soundtrack is Industrial.  It’s the surreal madness of machines that’s captured not their percussive energy.  Which is fitting given the conflict and melancholy of its subject matter.

Brian Case – Ship Building

Ship Building is taken from Brian Case’s new album Spirit Design.  It’s out on 25th August and you can pre-order it (and potentially get it early) right here.

Ontogeny recapitulates Philogeny

Featuring : Gaussian Curve

Today we tell you about the happiest animal identified by science, a pastel pink cephalopod that crawled out of the Mediterranean and into Balearic shores a long time ago. Instead of continuing its journey into land, this cephalopod basked under the sun in a beach devoid of predators, and this beach became its habitat, and its life was full of peace and bliss.

Over aeons of tranquility, the cephalopod started displaying phosphorescent shapes in its skin, neon mandalas and lightning bolts flashing in gradients of orange and slow motion. The nature of these displays remains poorly understood to this day.

The hippies who started arriving to the Balearic islands from the 1970s became obsessed with the cephalopods and their projections. They read those glittering glyphs as messages from an alternative mind evolved in a place of plentiness instead of scarcity, a benign intelligence showing us a better way. Some of them made music inspired by the cephalopods, instrumental backdrops for the dancing shapes of their peaceful tongue, and the Elysium that made it possible.

We call that music Balearica.

Gaussian Curve – Suspended Motion

Gaussian Curve released their second album, the pristine ‘The Distance’ a couple of months ago. This has given it enough time to infect our subconsciousness with its mellow chimes and comforting drones so that now, as the Summer arrives, we exist in an augmented reality of its own devising. Thank you Gaussian Curve!

Go and get it through Music from Memory.

Post partly inspired by Peter Godfrey-Smith’s Other MInds.

Zombie Metal

Featuring : Sigh

While Japanese ambient is a common feature of this blog, Japanese black metal is a little more of a rarity.

Which is especially absurd when you take into account Sigh – Japan’s leading weird black metal band for the past 25 years and who, on their last album, brewed up a particularly spellbinding BM take on the music of 20JFG faves Goblin and Fabio Frizzi!

Sigh – Kaedit Nos Pestis 

“The biggest inspiration on this album is 70s / 80s Italian zombie flicks,” singer Mirai Kawashima told No Clean Singing blog. “At first I was planning to make it filled with old keyboards like Minimoog, Mellotron, Hammond, Fender Rhodes etc., as a dedication to those movies. The final result was pretty much different from the initial plan, but I think you still sense the atmosphere of zombie movies.”

Buy Sigh’s 2015 LP Graveward

Covfefe, you are our only hope

Featuring : Adamennon

Donald gazed up the gothic escarpment of the palm reader’s nose, into two shining eyes like pits of tar threatening to absorb his small, petty soul. They were sitting inside a purple tent, walls covered with astrological symbols and cryptic glyphs, in a corner of the Coney Island carnival where his dad had taken him on a hot and sticky summer night. The palm reader grabbed Donald’s tiny hand and pulled it towards her, to do the job.

She hummed and she coughed as she followed with owlish gaze the inchoate lines in Donald’s hand, watching them stretch into the horizon and curl around the fuzzy shape of things to come.  And then she gasped, and she pulled herself away from Donald, and she stared at him with utter horror. Donald stared back uncomprehending, what was wrong with the funny lady?

Slowly, the palm reader regained her composure and the fearful expression in her face morphed into a mask of grim determination. She remembered the lessons from a long time ago, in a cold deep wood in a country far away. She remembered what the crone had said she should do if she ever had to face the shapeless horror. She remembered the secret name.

There was some time. With a fluid movement, she took her necklace off and wrapped it around her hand, and started swinging it in front of Donald’s petulant face, and she whispered the timeless words in a sibilant drone, and Donald’s eyes glazed over beyond their usual glazed-ness, and when he was ready, she delivered her message.

Not long after, Donald’s dad came to pick him up from the palm-reader’s tent, and they went back to their big shiny house.

Donald got on with his strange, eventful life, forgetting all about the funny lady until the early hours of one night last week, when he found himself spinning restless in his big bed, huffing and puffing and sweating, disturbed by a strange whisper inside his head. He hugged Melania but she grunted and pushed him away.

He got off the bed, pawed at the jumble of things in his sleeping table and picked up his phone, he shambled outside of the bedroom and into his office. He really needed some sleep, tomorrow was going to be a big day, he was going to show the world, he needed to be on the ball.

He decided to tweet some. That always calmed him down. He would tweet something, unwind, be lulled to sleep by the pings of his admiring followers, and the losers.

He started typing.

“Despite the constant...”

But he kept flashing-back to the regular motion of an amulet in front of his eyes, a whisper in his ears, fragments of meaning arriving from a very distant place, slowly coming together to form a vivid message.

Listen to me child, something ugly and slimy crawls inside your soul, waiting to get out. It is a powerful thing, this dumb evil inside you, and I fear that if it comes out, it will cause untold damage.

“...negative press”

This is why I am planting this word into your head, a word to be uttered the moment before your great ignominy, a word I hope you will never have to say, for it will represent your doom and perhaps also ours. Remember this word, and when to use it. The word is…

His fingers weren’t his own any more. When the word came, they moved of their own accord, and in the screen it read:


He pressed tweet.

And then there was a moment of stillness, and Donald felt a darkness circling him, and inside that darkness something scaly coiled, and a vast yellow eye opened and focused on him. An unnamable thing had awoken after a long sleep, it sniffed the air and smelt him, his soul, the tiny simple soul of a pudgy child who just wanted to show them.

He whimpered, no please, he wasn’t bad, but the merciless thing didn’t care, it was ravenous and it was coming to get him. He heard leathery wings unfurling, and he glimpsed the snake thing breaking out of the darkness, beginning its long journey from the vast emptiness where it had slept for aeons, coming for him, to feast on his soul and his flesh and sate its unending hunger.

He shrieked and he fainted over his desk, toppling a pile of papers, and down on the floor.

Two bodyguards ran into the room and stared at the scene. A big pile of Donald lying there, drooling, dishevelled, messy. Not that different from most nights, although the pallor of his face, his distorted grimace, the pool of urine spreading from under his body gave them pause. A bit worse than most nights, oh well.

They picked Donald up and carried him to the toilet, to clean him up and back to bed.

And all this time, the beast came. It is still on the way.

Adamennon – Dalle fauci al ventre della belva nera

Adamennon’s new (imaginary?) soundtrack for Le Nove Ombre Del Caos is almost unbearably banging, a celebration of all that’s baroque, grotesque heavy and powerful. It soars with dark Italian flair above a William Blake-esque carnival of whirling shadows, sulphuric smells and raging satanic shapes. This is a very different kind of malignity from the drab, mediocre, dumb evil in which some of our political leaders specialise of late, and we will take it every time.  If Goblin had replaced Led Zeppelin and P Diddy to create the soundtrack for Godzilla, it would have sounded like Dalle fauci al ventre della belva nera.

Get it from Boring Machines

Perpetual stasis machine

Featuring : Giusto Pio

Giusto Pio’s Motore Immobile is an isolation chamber where we hear the drone of an alarm that started ringing at the birth of the universe.

We enter a special Stapledon state of cosmic reverie where every sound – piano and violin, voices transformed like Holly Herndon’s Dilato dreaming in stasis, in a generation ship headed for Alfa Centauri  – represents a milestone in the emergence of life, intelligence and conscience, stages in a journey that unfolds at a pace our senses can only perceive when augmented with tools like this, exotic mathematics, psychotropic drugs.

We come out at the other side strengthened and purified, endowed with a new ability to sense, if only for a moment, glimpses of a perfect pattern amidst the worldly chaos.

Giusto Pio – Motore Immobile

Motore Immobile was released by Giusto Pio in 1978, and reissued by Soave earlier this year. Get it from their bandcamp.