Saturday, 18 November 2017

REVIEW


DOBHAR CHU-GLANAIDE LOUGH CS
Obscure and mysterious entity Dobhar Chu return with a second tape of utterly depraved and demented BM filth. While the first tape was a DIY piece of rot dubbed over a Bill Cosby stand up piece (as a side note, I was pretty enthralled in ol' Mr Cosby's routine as it unfolded itself on the B-side, he sounded quite fuckin drunk and had a natural story telling ability in his delivery, in-spite of all his flaws which surfaced later) this second tape leaves behind the instrumental ambience of the first and instead places the jackboot firmly over the throat and pushes down.

Both sonically and visually lifting from traditional BM outta Poland and Norway respectively, Dobhar Chu's approach is caustic and forward propelling. The drum machine being programmed by a psychopath gives this recording a truly unhinged and degenerate feel, at times it is so fast that it feels like a blur of broken rusted metal and snake hiss chants fed through an echo chamber. When this fucker kicks into gear though, it sounds like perfect, inbred BM played by a loner who grew up listening to way too much Ildjarn and Forbidden Citadel of Spirits.

Titles such as "Hymns to the Legions of the Horned One" will give you an insight into the avenue Dobhar Chu heads down, and while I may subscribe to no religious agenda myself, I tend to prefer it when BM of this ilk explicitly does. Artistically you would expect no less from a tape that is presented in such a way as this one is, and Dobhar Chu do not let you down.


DOBHAR CHU INTERVIEW WILL APPEAR HERE SHORTLY


Tuesday, 14 November 2017

REVIEW


BASILICA-"INFINITE REGRET" CS
Sir Jacob Hellas from Wasted Paper Zine/Malphas turns his hand at downtempo, waste trodden ambient. I was expecting this to be slightly more pride filled and overflowing with Canadian sympathies due to J. Hellas's body of work so far, instead we are dragged through something that Posh Isolation could have released back when they were still relevant to the underground. This is two tracks or outwards thinking astral plane wandering dirge. Fenriz's Neptune Towers project is actually the most apt comparison I can think of right now, although the Bondage themed artwork juxtaposed against mind bending magic eye cubes and mathematical equations offer insight that perhaps there is more going on here thematically than one might first assume.

The beauty of ambient as meandering as this is that you the listener can imprint whatever impression you want on it, Jacob surely had some design in mind while concocting this one freezing Canadian night, but beyond the song titles "Infinite Regret I" and "Infinite Regret II" and a few seemingly unrelated tid-bits inside the layout, the rest is left up to you. Such disregard can be dangerous and strangely liberating I imagine, allowing others to look at your work and make of it as they will, no statements or manifestos, just an obscure line such as "do Angels ever cut themselves shaving" allows ones mind to wander, tripping the light fantastic only coming to rest as the harsh sound of the tape player cutting off jars you back into reality as the piece runs its course. This really is music to get lost in. 

Saturday, 11 November 2017

SACRAMENCE-CREMATIONS 2 X CS


SACRAMENCE-CREMATIONS 2XCS
Sacramence’s output has been quite varied to date, this is a project that has been released on labels as disparate as Knife Vision (a label best known for blown out BM) and Clan Destine records (a label that pumps out Mixtapes like it’s 1984 again) Despite all this, don’t think that Sacramence isn’t focused, far from it. To me this project reflects quite accurately the underground DIY ethos that exists in 2017 and due to that it will impact listeners in varying ways and with differing effects. The underground right now is a confusing, bewildering and all-consuming place, one where you can get easily disenchanted and lose your way, or even worse blindly fall in line with every single thing you are fed. Initially, I paid very little attention to Sacramence, to me they were simply yet another one-man project that may have played Deathrock/Dark-Wave/Black Metal or Post Punk, descriptions of their releases did little to sway my indifference and it wasn’t until it was cheaper to add their “Lovers Seek Dominance” tape to my Youth Attack order than it was to leave it in the store for the vultures that I started to pay attention. I then read the interview in Nokturnal Subjugation zine, this piece stood out starkly among the other bands featured in this issue, I found myself enthralled and often noticed his opinions and feelings reflecting some of my own, I realized then that I had fucked up by skipping over this project. This wasn’t some by-the-numbers vanity effort, the themes were rooted in deep thought, gnostic contemplation and astral meandering. I was intrigued.
“Cremations” is Sacremance’s latest album and will see release courtesy of the Found Remains label on December 15.  The double tape is split up with the first cassette featuring the “Cremations” Full Length while the second tape houses remixes, B-sides and live stuff. I am not usually in need of extra bits such as outtakes or extended additions, I would rather buy a cheap Death Metal album on CD than grab the die-hard gatefold remastered edition on 180gram vinyl or some shit. That being said, I like the notion of including these extra pieces here, they don’t come across as self-indulgent or unnecessary, the eccentricity of the artist sharing ideas is the theme at play here, but more on that tape shortly. 
“Cremations” starts off as one would hope, with a project such as this you are not always sure what you will be met with, I found the deep trance inducing nature of the intro to “Machtpolitik!” enough to intrigue me and ask questions of what will confront me next. The success of Sacramence here is that without you realizing it, deadened, hollow vocals are chanting hymns of broken hopes and dreams and you can’t put your finger on the exact moment they begun, it is that dream like quality that captures you and pulls you in deeper as each song progresses. “Cremations” works as a whole, as well as in individual songs and that is no small feat. There are moments of EBM sleaze coupled together with Dark-Wave woe, Sacramence’s wet, moisture soaked nights of debauchery intermingle effortlessly with pitch black mourning and loss resulting in a strangely romantic yet ultimately hopeless recording that echoes those feelings experienced in times of great flux. There is an undeniable pop sensibility across “Cremations”, and by that, I mean that at times you find yourself completely caught up in a moment, be it the refrain found in the opener that exists as a point of reference while the song seemingly degenerates into disgust before capitulating into a brief gabba styled frenzy, or the lost and distant “Coronation” that utilizes lo-fi depression in a similar way to the better tracks from the “(Strange Songs) in the Dark” album from Merchandise. This is an outsiders view of pop music, one that is derived from feeling utterly useless when hearing a song about love on the radio due to recently losing it as opposed to embracing such a moment due to an act of familiarity and relating to such events. This leads us perfectly into the highlight of “Cremations” the aptly titled “Modern Love” which opens up the B side, this claustrophobic frenzy of a track fuses together those vastly differing sounds once perfected by Tollund Men and Lust For Youth into a singular song of hopeless devotion to that which will ultimately bring about our downfall. Along the way tracks such as “Solstice” or “Crooked Police” operate on another level altogether, offering respite through moments of reflection in what is otherwise a reasonably heady mix of modern electronic mastery.
This leads us into Tape 2. Ever since Today is the Day unloaded the epic “Sadness Will Prevail” double LP I have developed the mindset that an outing of this format can and should be listened to on separate occasions. Double Tapes (or LP’s/CD’s) are too much to compartmentalize in one sitting, especially in this ADHD existence. Tape 2 doesn’t feel like an “Extras” tape thrown in for the sake of it, the tracks here, even when previously heard on the first tape, offer further insight into Sacramence’s worldview and approach going forward. I am yet to fully appreciate the Techno universe and the punk undergrounds embracing of it, but I see merit in the repetitious throbbing thrust of such dance edits existing and while I still think the actual full-length “Cremations” stands proudly on its own, I am reminded here on Tape 2 about those times spent listening to Wumpscut on the car stereo and the deep sense of disturbance I felt hurtling along a lonely highway in the dead of the night.
“Cremations” is a perfect foray into the dank underground of electronic projects. These 2 tapes showcase a burgeoning spirit and go to great efforts to traverse the vast landscape that has been laid out before its arrival. Offering a unique and individual take on this is near impossible at this stage, and while Sacramence may not have reinvented any wheels, they have certainly commandeered the vehicle and turned it down a path into the strangely disturbing and downright unnerving with this blend of crushed, romantically disintegrated electronic music. Highly Recommended.

BUY HERE (DECEMBER 15)

LISTEN HERE






Monday, 6 November 2017

REVIEW


ROBBER-S/T LP

Things I have heard about Martin Bryant

1-He drowned his father in the family dam.

2-While sitting in the passenger side of a car he was known to lean across and pull on the steering wheel. This is how the person he inherited money from (as well as the house seen in the above photo) died.

3-He used to show pornography to his next door neighbours kids when they visited.

4-He permanently bolted a surfboard to the roof of his yellow Volvo to look like an avid surfer.

5-He planned to carry out his attack on the ferry that went to the Isle of the Dead, but a parking attendant at Port Arthur told him to move his car, and while doing so the ferry left without him.

6-Visitors to Port Arthur thought that when Bryant was shooting the shit out of the Broad Arrow Café it was actually some sort of display or attraction being held by the site, and they ran towards it to take part in the event.

7-There was a second shooter.

8-The Government bought refrigerated trucks just a few weeks prior to the attack, the same refrigerated trucks were used to transport the bodies of Bryant's victims.

9-My mum called me out into the backyard to look at the helicopters flying over-head, we didn't know at the time there was bullet riddled victims of a mass shooting inside of them.

10-He chased two sisters out of the Port Arthur carpark and into the surrounding bush. While they were hiding behind a tree he snuck up and shot one, letting the other one live. Cold fucker.

11-One victim inside the Broad Arrow café pulled his now fiancé's (he had proposed to her that day) lifeless corpse on top of himself to hide from Bryant's onslaught.

12-Tasmanian police responsible for this area were attending a drug tip off (one of the first of its kind for that particular area) which turned out to be a hoax, resulting in the longer than usual response time to the attack.

13-A trained police sniper in the unit camped out around the hotel Bryant holed himself up in, had his sights lined up on Martin as his scorched and burnt body exited the hotel. Little did he know that family members of his were killed in the mass shooting, he missed his one chance to exact revenge.

14-This is Australia's worst mass murder in History.

15-Robber sound like all of the above and more. This LP is pure Australiana, the malice, the murder, the fuck-ups, the loners, the degenerates and the deros.

(the above statements may not represent actual facts and should not be taken as gospel)

REVIEW


SMUT ODE-ZINE
Years ago I occasionally worked in Launceston (which is basically the more bogan, scum fuck part of Tasmania, up the Northern end of the state, roughly a 2 hour drive from where I live) On these trips I would get put up in a hotel, and nights were spent either watching horrible commercial TV or reading even more horrible magazines (Terrorrizer)

I knew of this 24 hour Fish and Chip shop that also sold porn magazines, it was a bit of a trek, but on one particular night it seemed worth it, I had probably been away for a few days at this stage. I set out around 9pm. I got lost along the way somewhere, but I did find it eventually. Unfortunately, on this night the counter was manned by a young lady, probably a bit rough around the edges too, so I felt a bit sheepish buying my stick mag from her instead of a bloke, but after a quick cursory glance at their extensive selection I grabbed one that I knew featured penetration (SWANK) and with minimal eye contact the deed was done.

Smut Ode reminds me very much of the disappointment and frustration I felt when I returned to my room that night to discover that all the juicy (literally) parts had been covered up by small (or sometimes ridiculously large) black stickers. The anticipation I had built up while stumbling home was fucking ruined by having to painstakingly peel off these surprisingly hardy black dots. I briefly wondered which poor censorship board cunt had the job of placing them over each point of entry (and quickly realised it was more likely an underpaid foreigner who had that task). 

The thing is, Smut Ode is an art zine, so the blanking out of extremities is no doubt there to incite this type of reaction, and for that it is a glaring success. This is a look into the world of glitzy porn advertising, reminding me of those silky smooth photo-shopped bodies that adorn printed publications opposed to the worn out and fatigued carcasses that are spread across online hubs. Those days before iPhone porn were certainly something and Smut Ode pays homage to this.







Saturday, 4 November 2017

ULTRAS INTERVIEW


D&O- tell us about the origins of Ultras?

JACK- The origins of Ultras begins back in late 2014 when me and Dustin met at a show in San Antonio where his band Daz and the Dogs was playing. I was in the Army and stationed at Fort Hood at the time, and I heard that there was a skin there who was also a soldier stationed on Fort Hood. Well we hit it off, and ended up hangin with each other in the barracks back on base. We would usually get drunk, play records and chain smoke. We both appreciated the fact that we had similar tastes, wanted to blast loud Oi, and get off base as much as possible to go wild on the weekends. He was one of the few skins I met in the Army. The topic of us starting a band came up a few times but didn’t become a reality until early 2015 when I had finished my time in the service and I was living in Austin, which was about an hour away. It was good timing, because Oi and skinhead was going through a golden age that year. There were a lot of bands kicking off, a lot of great shows and parties, and lots of people meeting each other and having fun. It was definitely a strange moment in time because people didn’t hate us for being skinheads then, or hate us for being in the military, or various other things that would be considered grave indiscretions in the punk scene in Austin now. I think the slightly younger crowd just latched on to the edginess of rollin with skinheads, being booted up, occasionally listening to off-limits things like RAC, and just the general aesthetic. Ultras started with me Dustin and Ethan, and two other guys who ended up not staying on board. It worked out well though because that’s how we got Bobby (drums) in the band somewhere around fall 2015 and really started writing the songs that are on our demo. We started the band to just play some loud fucking Oi and to live up to what we were and have fun doing it. Then eventually we realized we weren't like everyone else, our music was different, and our general stances on things weren't politically correct. I am only pointing that out to explain how we went from loved to hated in a year.

D&O-Do you find that you now get automatically lumped in with a particular group of people by default when you hold certain beliefs about America and its people? Has this had any ill effect on Ultras for booking shows or releasing music? How do you deal with this?

DUSTIN- Yes, it does lump us in with a group of people. Because of us being Proud Americans, nationalists, etc, we get labeled as Nazis, white nationalists, racists, fascists, and other names. We're not ethnic nationalists, not for a white-only America, but for a proud and strong America, and take it back to the original American values. Because of our beliefs we have been blacklisted to shows and kicked off bills because "we strike fear into marginalized peoples hearts" apparently, and are too problematic for all of the liberals’ little hearts. We just laugh about it now, and don't really mind because we do what we want, and write the music we want. We don't care what these other people think, they don't matter.

ETHAN- Yeah, absolutely. The last time we tried to play a show the venue was pressured by certain groups to drop us from the bill and the whole show ended up not happening. We certainly have enemies.


D&O-Underground music thrives on scenes, Ultras feel slightly unique to me in the fact that I can’t see you fitting in nicely with anyone. Is there a scene in Austin that you can exist in? What kind of shows are you playing? Are you constantly the odd one out?

ETHAN- Yeah, there isn't really an oi scene in Austin, just a handful of bands that sort of have oi elements or have skinheads as members I guess. We haven't been able to play any Austin shows in about a year but before that we had done a couple small local gigs at pubs that went well, and when Jack, myself and some of our friends lived together in a house we would sometimes have parties and play impromptu, very drunken sets for our friends and some of the local skins. Our best shows have been in Houston and San Antonio, we got to play last year with Oxblood in San Antonio so that was cool.

D&O-Patriotism is a long-standing theme in the style of music that Ultras play. You don’t shy away from this either, you have a song called “Patriot” on your first tape. In Australia we were bought up with a confused sense of identity, and it wasn’t acceptable to be a proud Aussie for a multitude of reasons, this has stuck with me to a degree. It feels as if the US right now is torn on this topic, you have one side calling the other racist and the other side calling them snowflakes. Firstly, how hard is it personally to come to the realization that you are a proud American who is confident about voicing this to the public? Were you born proud or is this something that dawned on you as time progressed?

ETHAN- For me, this subject could fill an entire interview... I don't think that with our generation the situation here is too different from what you described in Australia, at least in the music scene.

D&O- Punk at its core is nihilistic and rebellious; Patriotism seems to be the opposite of that. You have a line where you say, “I stood up proud, stood out from the rest of the crowd” which shows that feeling of being different; I would have thought America was more accepting of Patriotism right now after the election of Trump and what his slogan was? Have you seen a shift in American pride recently?

DUSTIN- There has been an influx of post-election nationalists arise from the ashes but there has also been the complete opposite. The punk scene is mostly Anti-American commies and social justice warriors. That's why those words I wrote are very relevant right now. On the other hand, there is the opposite side, which all of us are blacklisted from these shows and we receive threats from the reds; that they never seem to go through with, when the time comes. The media mainly covers only the negative attention that President Trump gets because they want to cater to the SJW's.

D&O-Violence is a central part of the Oi/Street punk sound; Ultras display this in a simple and brutal way, many of your songs deal with beatings and fighting. Is violence the only solution for such situations? Are your songs biographical or are you singing about what you have seen and working through the best way to deal with it upon reflection?

DUSTIN- It's a mixture of both. It's about some fights that we have been in, in specific situations. It's also about some of the combat I've seen in Afghanistan. 3 of the 4 members of Ultras are Army Veterans. Violence is not the only solution to certain situations, but in our experiences, that's what it usually ends up leading to.

ETHAN- I think it's a little bit of both...the point of the music is certainly not to incite violence but I really hate poser neo oi bands that sing about fighting and have violence as an aesthetic but are actual fucking cowards in their real lives.

D&O-I am no expert on the vast background that the Ultras pull from musically, can you talk a bit about how you discovered street punk/Oi and what were the most influential aspects you came across that left the largest mark on you?

ETHAN- I've been listening to punk in a general sense for about 10 years now. Oi was always something I liked but it wasn't until the past 4 years or so that I started digging more deeply into the genre.

D&O-The camaraderie found in the Ultras is in stark contrast to what you tend to see in punk with its loner, us against the world mentality. How would you describe the friendship amongst the Ultras crew? How long have you guys known each other for?

ETHAN- Yeah, we are about brotherhood and sticking together, I think we are all sick of the fleeting friendships and social climbers in the punk and hardcore scene at large... I’ve actually known Bobby the longest, when I was 14 and starting to go to punk shows I would go see his band Blunt Force Trauma a lot.


D&O-Tell us about Austin, Texas? How has the recent political climate affected the city do you think? The idea that the working class of America needs to be looked after more, is that something you saw personally in your own area? Is that what making America great again means? How do you see such a statement and how does it resonate with the general population of Austin do you think?

ETHAN- Austin, Texas is a cool city and a nice place to live but the people in the music community and social scene are incredibly close minded which has only been exacerbated by the nationwide political climate and increasing polarization over the past several months.

D&O-Knife Vision released your tape in the US, a label known for an eclectic line up of bands. The perhaps more aptly titled Street Rock Music did a different edition of the tape for the Russian elite. Why did you choose this approach for releasing the tape? Both are quite different artistically, is there a version of the tape which reflects the band more accurately?

JACK- Originally, we went with Knife Vision out of perfect coincidence. John who runs Knife Vision is a friend of mine in my hometown of Columbus, OH. I was back in town visiting last summer and going out drinking to meet up with old friends. Well I ran into John and ended up telling him about Ultras, and I gave him a listen of our recently self-recorded demo that we hadn't done anything with yet except put up online. He thought it was badass and wanted to put it out for us and we were more than happy to do that because we like what Knife Vision has been doing and the bands he's been putting out. The reason we did the Russian release on Street Rock Music is because a Russian guy from Moscow really liked our demo and asked to put it out as well. He said he would do original art and translations for it. No offense to John but I think we were all even more stoked for this release because it meant Russian skins were gonna be getting our tapes and we were going to have a unique audience over there. The artwork was fucking sick too. I don't think either version reflects us more strongly than the other; they both are great in our book.

D&O-Do Ultras subscribe to the “Don’t tread on me” motto?

ETHAN- Sure, the Gadsden flag to me is a symbol of what America once was and what it could be.

D&O-Final words?

ULTRAS- We’d like to close by saying we are working on a record which should hopefully be out by early 2018