Firstly, a big thank you to all the readers out there. Publishing five times a week with very few resources, there is barely time to think about new things to offer readers, other than just words within the album review/interview paradigm.
So, the little time we do have to think about and implement new features, it’s nice to see when they come to fruition. Since its inception at the back-end of last year, Weirdo Rippers has fast become one of our most read monthly pieces. Granted, we’re not ones to keep an eagle eye on statistics, however it’s equally vital to know that we are not howling into the void, because, well, there’d be no point, really. We’re glad it hasn’t come to that so far…
With the steady rise of this feature has come more submissions from the lonely orbits – many of which have been great. Not only do some of these feature below, there are many others still in chamber (we will get to them soon enough).
Before delving into this month’s selections, we are fortunate enough to share another track from forthcoming Cruel Nature Records 10th Anniversary compilation, Spectrum, which is set for release at the end of April. Stay tuned next month for an interview with label founder, Steve Strode.
While last week we featured one of the compilation’s tracks – Katie Gerardine O’Neil’s Along the Shoreline – this week we bring you the second slice, which comes in the way of Empty House’s Blue Sky Dreamers. You can listen to the track for the first time below.
It’s been another solid month for those operating in the off-kilter sound worlds, and over the past three weeks since our last communiqué, here’s what has managed to slip into the bloodstream.
Katie Gerardine O’Neill Interview: “I’ve finally tied together a lot of my processes with this album”
John Atkinson: Energy Fields
Following his 2022 debut, Loom, New York producer, John Atkinson returns with Energy Fields.
Think of the sound 200 years from now. A new word on the back of nimble engineering and mind blowing technology, and with Energy Fields Atkinson provides the soundtrack to it.
This is maximalism dismantled and rebuilt in new abstract ways. Bristol producer, Stuart Cook, did similar things with drone on his 2021 release, Piano at 51°40’49.6″N 2°14’09.2″W, and here Atkinson unfurls new hyper sounds through a willingness to go beyond the usual methods of technology exploration. The result is Energy Fields: something which holds no currency and just endless possibilities deep into the future.
Bhajan Bhoy: To Love Is To Love Vol. 1 and 2
Cardinal Fuzz / Feeding Tube Records
Releasing two albums on the same day, with To Love Is To Love volumes one and two, Krommenie, Netherlands-based Bhajan Bhoy pulls a plethora of ideas from the broad-church of psychedelia.
Over these two releases, Bhajan Bhoy dispenses melodic mantras, raga-inspired drones and kommische-electronics in what is a hippified journey through the mazes of psychadelia. It may just be the first time in psych history that somebody uses field recordings from a game of cricket (the psych dub odyssey of Vol. 1’s closing track, Lovely Day for Cricket), but there you go.
While Vol. 1 is perhaps more immediate, the best results are found by listening to both releases back-to-back. Psychadelia may be an overused term these days, but with these releases, Bhajan Bhoy proves that fresh, esoteric sound worlds can be found within it.
Hell On Hearth: Ninety Two
The last time Sean Wars’ Hell On Hearth project adorned the pages of Sun 13, I think he may have been at album number… 70? Well, this week took, the Liverpool experimentalist took the total to 92.
We could back track, but let’s talk about Ninety Two. Call it dungeon wave or whatever you wish, but with the kind of hushed terrorscapes of Ninety Two, those metal heads out there planning to have kids? Well, if you include some Hell On Hearth in the little one’s diet, then they are destined to be the next generation of taste makers.
I mean, if you went to the Wire magazine’s Christmas party, then the resident house DJ would inevitably be Sean Wars. Ninety Two is one of the many fine minimalist vignettes throughout a body of work that is fast becoming one of finest in Bandcamp land.
Hypnodrone Ensemble: The Signal In The Signal
Wolves and Vibrancy Records
Nadja’s Aidan Baker is never far away from a new release, and this time it comes in the way Hypnodrone Ensemble: the collaboration between he and thisquietarmy’s Eric Quash (also of excellent Some Became Hollow Tubes).
The Signal In The Signal follows 2020’s Gets Polyamorous, but here things are more in the zone of long-form via two 30 minutes compositions. Baker and Quash are joined by the three-pronged drumming assault of Angela Martinez Muñoz, Jeremie Mortier and Tobias Humble, and alongside Kristin Sebastian on viola, what the ensemble capture is a dead-eyed polyrhythmic vibe that sends you deep into the pits of a space-dub trance state.
We shouldn’t be surprised of course, however those who need a spell from the torrents of noise both Nadja and Some Became Hollow Tubes constantly conjure up, this is the perfect comedown record. Just escape and notice all your troubles evaporate.
Cisser Mæhl: Innemuseum
Written across various locations throughout Scandinavia, Innemuseum is the debut album by Danish composer, singer and multi-instrumentalist, Cisser Mæhl.
Mixed by Jenny Hval producer Lasse Marhaug, throughout the 10 compositions which comprise of Innemuseum, Mæhl creates a brooding form of orchestral pop. Hval’s influence is dotted all the way throughout the release; Mæhl having taken solo classes with the Norwegian songstress prior to the recording of Innemuseum.
Earthy in both tone and emotional depth, Innemuseum is like a seamless lullaby inspired by vast open spaces. For those immersed in the sound worlds of Colleen and Ellen Arkbro, Cisser Mæhl’s Innemuseum is another in this realm to fall in love with.
Primitive Motion: Portrait of an Atmosphere
A Guide to Saints
Brisbane underground pioneers, Primitive Motion, return with their follow-up to 2018’s House in the Wave in Portrait of an Atmosphere.
Whilst positively fractured and abstract, Sandra Selig and Leighton Craig amalgamate a plethora of sound worlds in what is almost like a new world order in the realm of experimentation. From Kranky reverence to the spatial escapades of the deep listening movement, Portrait of an Atmosphere holds that let-all-your-troubles-fade kind of vibe (a bit like the aforementioned Hypnodrone Ensemble).
Melding Slavic influences with a narcotic noir hybrid (Portrait IV), it contains slight echoes of the 2021 collaboration between Land Trance and Aging, Embassy Nocturnes. Meanwhile closing composition, Trenches of Time is the final ingredient hurled into the melting pot, resulting in a wild tasting broth of ideas sourced from unlikely places. This is exactly why Portrait of an Atmosphere will be one of the most rewarding listens in 2023.
Smote have always been a slave to the central idea. The core-shuddering riff, and on their latest offering, Genog, what they produce is something tailor-made for dimly lighted hash dens.
With subtle textures and lovely tinges of Eastern influence, Genog is a doom-laden raga drone trip that sees Smote reach their creative summit. The last two tracks alone, Lof and Banhus, are the best things the band have produced over their three album reign.
While Genog is a lovely journey on its own, it also provides wonderful results when paired with a companion from the underground. In this case, as strange as it sounds, yet again the answer is Hypnodrone Ensemble. Listen to both records in sequence and you might just have the best afternoon you’ve had all year.
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