Tag Archives: AVANT! Records

The Apocalypse Institute

Featuring : Qual

AV_035-QUAL---SABLE-cover_front

The phone rings.  The phone rings again.  There’s no one there to pick up at the white walled, white floored, fluorescent lit Institute — all hastily cleaned blood stains and distant moans.  You stay on the phone anyway, listening to the hideous dial tone.  Like electronic bees phasing in and out of this world, driving the listener insane.

The beat hits, in that soft way, designed to bruise.  The orderlies know all the tricks.  As does Qual.

Qual – The Geometry Of Wounds

The Geometry of Wounds mainlines that nexus between Industrial and Cold Wave.  A point in space where you’re not sure if they weren’t just two dimensions of the same being, ripped apart by nationality.  Minor key melody that summons up the sadness of approaching nuclear catastrophe?  Check.  Arpeggiated synths suggesting that we’re living in an impersonal computer world?  Gloriously present.  And a voice, a voice deep and filled with horror.

Qual’s album Sable is out now on AVANT! Records.  You can grab the LP right here.

A song for the drowned

Featuring : Hand of Dust

FRONT HOD

All of the lines in the Church converge in a slab of stone framed by the statues of two weeping saints, terrible like the fragment of a meteorite hurled by cosmic titans of sadness. In the slab, the people of the village chisel the names and ages of those they have lost to the Sea. With each of her blinks, the visitor flashes back to the terminal situation each of the names refers to.

Storms made of clouds bulging and full of evil agency like the faces of hateful giants vomiting death threats and curses at you, you sneer back and ask if they want to take this outside, or rather, down-side, which they do.

Storms made of clouds numb with the indifference of a universe against which you rage with your fist in the air, all teeth and knuckles and spit, before you sink.

Storms made with geometrical precision like the circumference of the maelstrom, and the cruel centripetal forces that draw you inside, away from all warmth and away from all love, down you go, and you sing.

The song is by Hand of Dust, a band from Copenhagen whose music crashes and surges ominous, dirgeful and violent like murder ballads shrieked from a prison of black ice.

Hand of Dust – A Sight For The Living

This is the b-side in a 7’’ being released by Avant Records on the 24 of June.

War and Love

Featuring : War

A late post from us today. Many apologies to those expecting our usual midnight arrival. Today we visit the flip of the Lust for Youth / War split that we wrote about earlier this month.

War’s Somme, Maggio has been knocking around various blogs for a while but we’ll cover it anyway because we love AVANT!, because they let us post a downloadable copy and because it’s got that thunderously eerie juxtapositional thing we dig hard at 20JFG.

When we were living out our pastel nuclear nightmares at the dog end of the Cold War, Armageddon was forever portrayed as a hazy world of deafening, far off sounds and hideously distorted music. The theory being, we suppose, that pop was the vessel with which we defined our capitalistic utopias and the worst thing that could possibly happen is for the speakers to get blown out on our sweet Phillips tape player.

That ur-trauma seems to have permitted the bodies that make up War.  Somme, Maggio wallows in irradiated tape hiss and the distant thuds of something nightmarishly energetic hitting the world, over and over again. The simple melody repeats like a numbers station, an ever-present reminder of what we’ve lost; a counterpoint to the megaphone shouts that weave between these two extremes. Pretty horrific, pretty remorseless and definitely worth posting about, even if we’re late today.

War – Somme, Maggio

As we mentioned above, this is the flip to the LFY / War 7″ on AVANT!

…and now, sadly, something completely different:

We never quite understood Donna Summer’s allegedly homophobic awakening at the hands of Christianity (in fairness, she later denied it).  Before that though, she was involved in making some of the greatest records ever.  This is one of them and it pretty much changed my life:

Donna Summer – I Feel Love (Patrick Cowley Mega Mix)

RIP

We can (Insert Desire Here) for you wholesale

Featuring : Lust For Youth + SHACKLETON

(Via 50Watts)

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Those that do bring us things, do you want to have a look?

Here at Placely, we wouldn’t want you to go out there without knowing what’s waiting.

Follow me, look.

We know it’s a total cliché, at least in these parts, to talk about songs as artefacts from an alien civilisation. That is normal state of affairs in this blog. If things don’t sound like they were delivered by shapeless envoys droning in a psychic wavelength out of joint with – or even orthogonal to – ours, then what’s the point.

We seek absolution by trying to elicit the source of that alien-ness, or its socio-cultural dynamics as encoded in the music.

In the case of SHACKLETON’s latest release, the tremendous ‘Music for the Quiet Hour/The Drawbar Organ’ (out on Woe To The Septic Heart), we are surrounded by riddims evoking biomechanical rituals that we aren’t yet cognitively prepared to see, and synthetic glyphs hovering curious/threatening like gigantic dragonflies.

And then we have our throat sheared by a fractal-bladed boomerang, our blood poisoned by the hallucinogenic excretions of a Rorschach back toad – alien artefact hurled by an alien predator of savage grace whose lineage is subtly human, albeit adapted to the Cretacean jungles that await in some branches of our future diaspora.

SHACKLETON – Music for the Quiet Hour Pt. 5

Acquire, in vinyl.

Lust for Youth’s droid bounce pays twisted homage to the joyous frivolity of the Rimini super-mannequins, although with all the shine and gloss removed by the abrasive cat tongue of time and entropy, the discrete tininess of the quintessential italo beat broken down into a brown gruel which would be the staple diet for City 17’s worker drones… if the Combine wore more mascara. In vocal duties, we find an emaciated crone, all that’s left of your standard leather-disco-stud, it’s unclear whether he sings from this side of the Styx, or the other.

We collapse from Olympian cocaine heights into a quagmire of decay, looking for beauty.

Lust for Youth – Cover their Faces

Aquire Growing Seeds, in Vynil, from AVANT!.

Born under knives

Featuring : FUNK POLICE

So here we are, caught up in an epileptic epiphany lighting up James Brown’s drug-addled brain as he dances around the burning wreckage of his automobile like a Balinese finger puppet lucubrated by a Dionysian necromancer, police sirens Doppler-effecting closer and closer.

And what does this epiphany concern, you ask? It concerns the realisation that we spin at great speed through the black nothing, and that a never-ending rhythm keeps it all together, and that’s the rhythm of funk, the furious gospel of a vitalistic religion we are all born into, under punches, we fight back.

Funk Police – Back Inside You

This FUNK POLICE reeks with a pungency we hadn’t felt since the Make Up/early Jon Spencer era, and its metronomic rumble echoes the Silver Apples if they had targeted their oscillator at the satanic swamp instead of the heavenly ether. We can’t fathom whether it deals with sexual intercourse or demonic possession. Silly question, they are one and the same.

FUNK POLICE’s Hot We Are Funk We Play is out on AVANT! Records on the 25th of this month. We couldn’t find a link for the band (actually, our internet search led us to very evil places you can check for yourselves), sorry.

Blood and Sushi

Featuring : Chubby Wolf + King Dude

Ripped from music and sutured to the banal hooting of streets, deadening of flats and cold hum of offices, leaves you slightly overwhelmed when plugging back in.  The music that we tend to gravitate towards on these pages acts like a wormhole to the strange lands these artists conjure.  Kinda’ like Jarvis’s scented candle if it was made from the hallucinogenic larvae  of our tired lizard king, dragging your soul across across dimensions in a wisp of smoke.

The opening few seconds of King Dude’s Born in Blood are silent.  Which could well just be a quirk of track sequencing but does an efficient job of letting you hear the ‘silence’ of the room that truly opens the track.  It’s a great trope of authenticity, that hiss, that room tone, but no less effective.  It’s the light picking out dust and the smell of wood.  Synaesthesia played out endlessly in a fraction of a second before Thomas Jefferson Cowgill’s guitar (closely followed by voice) slip bleakly into a view.

The body of the song itself takes the gothic route to 20JFG’s heart encompassing death, an ineffectual bible and the devil.  It’s the little guitar line here and the slight, almost childish, uplift of a “born in blood” that makes King Dude’s dark-folk an effective world to visit.  Though perhaps the tug’s a bit too strong after cold turkey.

KING DUDE – BORN IN BLOOD

Born in Blood is taken from the album Tonight’s Special Death which came out last month.  It’s available digitally from here and on vinyl here.

 

The late Dani Baquet-Long’s solo project Chubby Wolf is beginning to settle within our collective conscious with a 7″ earlier in the year and now an album.  Despite the sadness inherent in any such posthumous undertaking, there’s also a sense of gratitude that anything so beautiful could be created at all.

This particular wormhole takes us to the ethereal plane that exists between the walls of Malick’s 50s Texas.  A suitably filmic piece of found-sound whimsy opens Sushi on a Hot Day (and gives it its name), giving off some Nicholas Ray awkwardly burgeoning female sexuality in post-war times…vibes.  From here though Chubby Wolf quickly escape the hold of earthly delights into the transcendent synth drones that make up the bulk of the track.  That otherworldliness though is grounded by a (very) faint, rattling percussion, possessed of just enough reverb to anchor it in a room while also managing to sound like ice-flows cracking underwater.

There’s something so stately and enormous about this sort of music: a beauty of the natural sciences.  That’s perhaps why Sushi on a Hot Day became the track to post here, possessing, as it does, a playful sense of the tiny focus of people — and their talcum powder — that totally befits an album containing a track called Small Dick.

Chubby Wolf – Sushi on a Hot Day

Sushi on a Hot Day is taken from Turkey Decoy, the first Chubby Wolf release on Digitalis.  The record’s out now and you can pick it up from here (disclaimer: there are other online record stores).

If you’re about in East London this weekend the wonderful (but deceptively named) Nail the Cross IV is taking place in Dalston.

Bold War

Emerging from their Vault Tec certified living quarters clutching two pre-war cultural artefacts, AVANT! Records’ representative patiently waits while 20JFG’s fumbling hands try desperately to claim their precious gifts.  Able only to consume in the form of half-remembered lists and feature comparisons this partially feral 20JFG creature desperately attempts to contextualise these:

Contrepoison

  • Cold Wave Do-Wop
  • digital handclaps and filtered melodies
  • portentous, distorted bass lines and the mixing of geological catastrophe and bedroom lament
  • Further specifications and features can be found here

Contrepoison – Heartbeat

 

Lust For Youth

  • Tangerine Dream’s existential fugue for Michael Mann’s unfinished. apocalyptic remake of Le Samourai
  • Sunrise over a valley of grey ash – the hero wearily contemplating his recent, hollow victory
  • A Gnostic peak behind the curtain of the world, revealing a series of enormous rusting gears.
  • Further specifications and features can be found here

Lust For Youth – Red Lights

Both of these records were originally released on 20th April 2011AD.  You can find archival information about their release (on the mythical AVANT! Records) right here.