The worst video you will see today: “Winaloto” by Tommy Cash.

Estonian rap. The genre is “trap-pop”, apparently. The video itself is probably not worksafe, though technically within YouTube rules. 2:10 is the high point, for some value of.

“I repeat my earlier question: who decided it was time to start re-creating Chuck Tingle covers in a moving-image medium?” — aberranteyes

Strap On Halo: Altar of Interim EP, Prayers for the Living CD (2016).

Strap On Halo are a goth rock band from the goth scene. This is unfortunate, insofar as not even current goths are interested in current goth music — it’s a subculture of new clothes and old music.

strap on halo - altar of interimAs a musical form, goth stopped developing in the late ’80s and new bands past 1990 are a niche interest of a niche interest, judged on how well they recreate the old sound; what little evolution occurs and what little breaks through to the wider world comes from its nonidentical conjoined twin subculture industrial bothering the minor charts. Though even that’s been in a loop the past fifteen or so years. Metal keeps crossing back and forth with goth rock too, but that crossover works out … variably, because anything plus metal equals metal.

strap on halo - prayers for the livingThat said, they’re good enough at this that you won’t be wasting your time paying them attention. They know what they want to do and apply themselves to it with a much wider range than you’re probably thinking of from that description. “Perish” is a bouncy A-side, Layla Reyna’s voice (which doesn’t immediately invite comparisons to historical goth rock stars … though if I had to pick one, I’d pick Anja Huwe of Xmal) carries the band very effectively. The guitar work invites rather more comparisons, but carries them off. They don’t use unprocessed Roland sounds for drums. This is good independent music worth paying attention to. Though if they want said attention they probably need to hit the metallers harder than they’d like. Prayers for the Living and Altar of Interim; they also have some demos and a nice seasonal number.

Industrial reviews: Shiny Darkness, Psychicold, Alexander Fetuekow/2AF (2016).

Shiny Darkness - You Can Travel The WorldSHINY DARKNESS: “You Can Travel The World/Dirty Morning” — shouty Ultra-ish Depeche Mode. Reasonably executed. Above video: “Dirty Morning”.

Psychicold - RebirthPSYCHICOLD: Rebirth — sp00ky goth EBM with nice sounds and a decent beat. Takes clichéd elements and mostly does pretty good things with them. I particularly liked “Electroshock”, “Rebirth” and “Tant de Peines”. Warrants repeat listens.

2FA -  Before AdventALEXANDER FETUEKOW a.k.a. 2AF: Before Advent: Landmark Zero: The Best 2008-2013 — really very good homemade instrumental futurepop EBM informed by a whole lotta techno from the last twenty years. Its only problem is that it’s pretty clearly the sort of “instrumental” that’s “I can’t find a singer.” But he shouldn’t have trouble with this quality of tracks. Also check Landmark I: The Best 2013-2015.

The guy who called his band Suicide dies of old age.

Alan Vega has died at 78.

(78, not 68. He lied about his birth date for decades. The ten-year discrepancy was quite the topic on the Wikipedia talk page back in the day.)

First time I heard Suicide was on 6NR Late Nite in the early ‘80s. 10pm-1am weeknights, that show was. I of course listened religiously, and never mind chronic tiredness at school the following morning.

They played “Frankie Teardrop” very last thing. 1am, in the dark, over the AM airwaves. Scared the shit out of young me.

This is the official clip, which I didn’t know existed until I found it on YouTube just now. If you’ve never heard it before, play it in the dark last thing at night tonight for Alan.

“we’re all Frankies we’re all lying in Hell”

Viv Albertine corrects British Library exhibition on punk.

Why does the history of punk rock seem so relentlessly white and male, when that’s nothing like how it happened? Well, you know why. And so does Viv Albertine of the Slits, who showed up to talk at British Library exhibition Punk 76-78 last night and had to apply corrections to their glib erasure of people like her from the history she was literally there to talk about.

vlv albertine corrects glib punk blurb

See also a nice piece on why the relentlessly white histories of punk are also trivially false.

65daysofstatic: No Man’s Sky (2016).

65daysofstaticAveraging one studio album every three years, the classic math rockers, 65daysofstatic are right on time with their latest release, the official soundtrack to the video game No Man’s Sky. The multiplayer game itself is quite a fascinating and much anticipated production which, apart for being a thematically rich survival game of exploration, survival, trading, and (of course) combat. Diversity in the setting is generated from procedural generation for a massive open universe.

Comparisons between this album and their 2011 soundtrack of Silent Running is inevitable and accurate. This is mainly not like their early complex guitar-driven sounds, such as The Fall of Math, but with some notable exceptions. Following the game’s design, the soundtrack itself uses generated music. Unlike that one would expect from generation, there is significant variation, with many tracks including a fair amount of classic 65dos feedback and white noise.

The opening track, ‘Monolith’, is a new turn for the band with a significantly darker and more industrial sound to what is normally provided, a style which is somewhat repeated in an initially slower tempo and a keyboard overlay with ‘Red Parallax’ before traditional guitars and drum make their powerful discordant attack. The highlight of album however is most certainly, ‘Asimov’ which starts off initially lighter, then faster, then into lots of feedback, then into a powerful dirge, and the final track ‘End of the World Sun’, which is an extremely energetic piece that sounds very much like the old 65dos. They contrast with ‘Heliosphere’, which despite a quirky beginning, is a little too organised for 65dos, and ‘Hypersleep’ which is a heavy keyboard piece that doesn’t really develop.

The ten tracks of Music for An Infite Universe are complemented with a six-track second album Soundscapes. There are all longer and combined experimental pieces. The dominant adjective is ‘otherwordly’, a style especially relevant in the first two tracks, ‘NMS_exterior1Atmos1/ False Suns’, and ‘Tomorrow / Lull / Celestial Feedback’; these are largely deeply brooding sounds. However one track (‘Departure / Shortwave / Noisetest’) although starting with excellent heavy confused discordant sounds, falls into some weird, experimental bleeps and farts in the latter part, reminscent of the worst of 1980s electronic bands.

This album constitues an interesting foray and technical development for 65dos and it certainly has several instances of tracks that are powerful or highly evocative of the science-fiction settings for which it has been developed. Likewise however, it is also designed as a game soundtrack, when means that a great deal is a type of aural wallpaper – very good aural paper, one hastens to add, but aural wallpaper nonetheless. It is restless and relentless, correctly described the album’s promoters as “what does forever sound like?” The attempt is bold, and perhaps it does not completely succeed, but it certainly is an thorough attempt within the new musical genre and technology.

Industrial reviews: Psy’Aviah, Gamma 10, L.O.T.I.O.N.

Psy-Aviah - Seven SorrowsPSY’AVIAH: Seven Sorrows, Seven Stars (Alfa Matrix) — EBM with a good pop sensibility and various guest vocalists. Psy’Aviah have never quite grabbed me previously, but this new album caught my attention. Heavier on the pop angst than the dancefloor thumping; some tip over into slight cheese, but not fatally. The video above is “Frozen”, and here’s a track by track interview.

Gamma 10 - Listen To MeGAMMA 10: Listen To Me — instrumental EBM with samples. Does a pretty good and interesting job, actually. There’s way too much synth instrumental that’s clearly such only because they didn’t have a singer; this does rather better than that. He’s got a few more albums of this stuff too.

L.O.T.I.O.N - Digital Control and Man"s ObsolescenceL.O.T.I.O.N.: Digital Control And Man’s Obsolescence (La Vida Es Un Mus Discos) — one from last year. I am only putting up with these Cookie Monster vocals because donjuan-auxenfers rates it. Aaaand it’s pretty good even given the vocal effect (I think it’s an effect). Like if hardcore punk had gone industrial at the end of the ’80s rather than industrial going metal — a trick I don’t recall hearing done quite this way before. (I mean, Atari Teenage Riot and much of the late ’90s, but this is much punkier.) They describe themselves as Nitzer Ebb meets G.I.S.M., which sounds about right. Or maybe FLA, but today I suspect you could play me anything and I’d say it was Canadians from the ’90s.

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Rocknerd uses Kubrick, the most tediously basic WordPress theme that was all the rage in 2008. It’s possible we could do with an update.

So! I would welcome your valued suggestions on how to make the site look more like an interesting and perspicacious music magazine. Free themes by preference, we’re not big on budget resources around here …

Industry links: YouTube, RIAA mathematics, Jay-Z’s Tidal.