*currently updating entries . all pictures © Portcorner unless mentioned otherwise*
Journal Tags Filter
MSC ‘What You Say Of Power’
Following up on their thunderous 2020 collab release ‘I Don’t Ever Want To Be Alone’ with Rhode Island’s iconic experimental metal group The Body (of which MSC’s Zac Jones has long been a touring member), twin brothers Zac & Isaac Jones present their debut solo full length as MSC, ‘What You Say Of Power’. Backed up by a monumental homemade sound system and sprung forth from a time of motorbike accidents, broken skulls & van thefts, ‘What You Say Of Power’ is dense and physical, and yet at times also beautiful and delicate.
Growing up in a home in the rural Southeast of the United States where Religious music was the standard, the brothers found their own route, regularly listening to classical music before growing into fringe mainstays in the punk and metal scenes with projects such as Braveyoung. They gradually evolved out of that scene, making their way towards the current project with the release of ‘I Close My Mind And Lock It’, two EPs released simultaneously that crystallized the musical elements and techniques loved and sought out by the brothers. 2020 saw not only the release of ‘I Don’t Ever Want To Be Alone’ but also the wonderfully glitched out, breakbeat/Jungle record ‘World Vision Perfect Harmony’ which
The soundsystem the brothers have built plays a central part of the story of this record and MSC as a project “is an extension of our path in music together”, the brothers note. One thing that can hamper electronic acts is the lack of control over the soundsystem available at different spaces, so MSC are grappling with that problem with a solution that speaks to their hardworking characters: building their own and touring it.  ↗ Tobira Records  
Gorgonn ‘Six Paths’
Back at the beginning of 2023 Japanese producer Gorgonn released Six Paths, a dense, crushing collection of bass experiments and soundsystem artillery that serves as both a treatise on Japanese Buddhism and as the culmination of years of “sci-fi steppas” and collaborations with some of the most ferocious practitioners of heavyweight bass experimentation, including The Bug, JK Flesh, Hype Williams and DJ Scotch Egg.
The six paths of the album’s title refers to the various branches that, according to the Japanese Buddhist faith, the soul is drawn down after death, depending on the karma accrued during one’s lifetime. Between an afterlife spent in the world of the celestials, or among the demigods, an eternity spent in suffering during a karmic cleansing in jigoku, a hellish purgatory presided over by the Japanese lord of death, Emma-ō, or a liminal existence wandering the earth as a hungry ghost, it’s reincarnation as another human, or animal, that Gorgonn takes aim at on the foreboding surge of a ‘Life As A Beast’ video. ↗ 180 Fact  
thoughts of hope?
A playlist of instrumental avant-metal containing a mix of hard bangers punctuated by beautiful near-acoustic melancholic interludes. Russian Circles and Isis are two of my favourite metal bands ever and here I serve 2 of the best tracks they have released in a stellar career. There’s a very special energy that radiates from playing instrumental metal at full blast, without the harsh vocals… even my wife can get through a few of these!
Mix Cover for Whitehorse & The Body. Having seen its release in 2019, as a limited tour edition CD when Whitehorse and The Body toured Australia together, this much sought after collaboration is finally seeing a vinyl release in two different pressings with the collaboration of Sweatlung and Tartarus Records. Released April 2022. Original painting by Jacob Rolfe.
Main Image: Hide.
A collection of released and unreleased material by Riccardo Dillon Wanke.
Mix Cover: “i” album cover released by Mazagran.
This is a mix I put together back in 2017 from a selection of released and previously unreleased tracks, kindly sent to me by Riccardo Dillon Wanke for a first instance of mixes I did then. RDW lives and works in Lisbon. He is a Multi-instrumentalist and Composer and he explores classical, improvised and exploratory music, focused on the diffusion of contemporary art. He is particularly interested in digital and analog manipulation of sound and its use into musical compositions.
Porto based composers and sound artists Rui Lima e Sérgio Martins fuse music compositions with performing art, theatre, cinema, documentaries and animation. Since meeting at the prestigious Soares dos Reis School of Arts in Porto back in 1997, they’ve been working together and collaborating with a vast range of visual and music artists. This is a collection of music scores for Theatre and Installations, kindly gifted to me by the musicians back in 2016.
Mix Cover: Visual for “Amigos Imaginários” (Imaginary Friends), a film-performance directed by Rita Barbosa with music by Rui Lima and Sérgio Martins.
Cover: Artwork for Ryuichi Sakamoto and Fennesz album Cendre released in 2007 on Commmons records, a label founded by Ryuichi Sakamoto and Avex Trax label founder, Max Matsuura.
Main Image: Still from ‘Stalker’ 1979. Directed by Andrey Tarkovsky.
“Hardness and strength are death’s companions. Pliancy and weakness are expressions of the freshness of being. Because what has hardened will never win.” – The Stalker
Mix Cover: Album cover for Colin Stetson & Sarah Neufeld album ‘Never Were The Way She Was’ released in April 2015 by Constellation records.
Video Excerpt: Rare bonus interview with Scott Walker from the HMV limited edition of the documentary ’30 Century Man’ directed by Stephen Kijak.
“This slow and heavy song, heavily influenced by acid folk soundscapes of the 70’s, tells a tale about the noble aristocracy of the sky. The hunting birds of prey that dominate the upper echelons of our world and punish with deadly force those who are not careful.” – Iskandr 2023
A painting of GYBE performing as seen in the brainwash.com website (with thanks to the artist, Eric Quach, for the scan). Eric is of course the Canadian musician behind Destroyalldreamers – a post-rock outfit heavily influenced by gybe and shoegaze, and more recently Thisquietarmy.
Another collection of favourite 90’s Black Metal. Highly regarded at the time and still pretty fresh today. Difficult to believe some of these tracks are approaching 30 years of age. This early to mid 90’s Scandinavian Back Metal sound, so prevalent as an influence in hundreds of bands for the last 30 years and taken to another level in production and in a more contemporary song structure by bands such as Fuath or Cantique Lepreux. The year of 1994 was an excellent year for me, the year I got into extreme metal by way of Bathory, Mayhem (through an album by a band called Eminenz, thats a great story for some other time.. ) but also Cannibal Corpse and Brutal Truth.
It was also the year of the infamous ‘Ultra Brutal – Open Air of Penafiel’, a metal festival taking place in a small satellite city some 40 kms east of Porto, under desert like 40 celsius sun, organised  by a guy called Alberto Barros who, legend has it, messed with too many band’s cachet and in this instance dropped Cradle of Filth at the Porto airport with no money for travel and no further  explanation. The bill consisted of Cradle of Filth promoting their debut ‘The Principle of Evil Made Flesh’. They played absolutely flawlessly, in broad day light, under the scorching heat, you could see their corpse paint melting. I am not sure which song they played first but I remember everybody just stopped what they were doing, some jaws dropped, admiring the sheer onslaught of their sound, specially Danny’s presence and Nick Barker… who was shredding at a pace I don’t remember seeing at the time from a young band playing a debut. As a drummer myself I was (and still am) astonished at the drum work in this album. There was also Grave, Gorefest and Hipocrisy in the bill.
I was so awestruck with the beauty of ‘Mono No Aware’ – PAN‘s first compilation released in 2017, collating unreleased ambient tracks from both new and existing PAN artists – that I wanted to dig a little deeper into the cryptic name for the album.
Mono-no-aware (物の哀れ), or ‘pathos of things’, is a Japanese term that is difficult to translate, maybe as ‘an empathy towards things’ or ‘a special sensitivity towards ephemeral things’. In classical Japanese literature and poetry, it refers to the aesthetic ideal of ‘mono-no-aware’, which implies a particular sensitivity of awareness and responsiveness to something, an inanimate object or even a living being, or an emotional response to a person. This choreographic project challenges and summons different imagery and poetic materials, starting from this place of memory and evocation, and simultaneously acceptance and contemplation of the present time and its transience. A nostalgic body that is unbalanced between two temporal filters and two realities, the past, the present and an idea of ​​the future. Do images die on stage and are taken off stage? If a body did not dissolve, did not disappear like fog, would things lose the power to move us?. – Rafael Alvarez
Starting with one of the highlights of 2017, Jhator by Zu in perhaps their most ethereal venture yet, and a bold new trajectory for musicians and label alike (HOM) – a pensive, mind-expanding foray into abstraction and wonder, rich in cinematic ambience and transcendent, transformational power. Consisting of two extended pieces, this is a work that connects Zu to their antecedents both spiritual and musical, whilst forging forward in the manner of no-one but themselves. And it perfectly paves the way for a collection of genre defying tracks, somewhere between noir cinematic soundtrack and experimental electronics.
I put this mix together thinking about Scott Walker. He passed away 5 years ago last 22 March. Between two of his most recent albums: ‘The Drift‘ and ‘Bish Bosch‘, I decided to feature the latter, because I have so many mixes with songs from the former. I went for a selection of mostly highly charged, heavily percussive tracks, because as a drummer, that was one of the most satisfying aspects of Scotts later work, I guess after his uniquely rich baritone vocal delivery.
Released in 2006, The Drift was Scott Walker’s first album in eleven years, following 1995’s Tilt and it was my fully fledged introduction to the bizarre musical world of Scott, by the time of its release known as an otherworldly experimental musician. The album was recorded over a period of seventeen months at Metropolis Studios in Chiswick, with orchestra recorded in one day at George Martin’s AIR Studios in Hampstead, both locations in London. It is a masterpiece of dark, contemporary experimental music, produced by a 63 year old, which is impossible to un-hear and an album that has stayed with me, one of my favourite albums ever by one of the misfits in music of the last 50 years.
Scott Walker

Scott Walker press Cuttings

About Selected Ambient Works – Volume II
March 7, 1994 – The release of Aphex Twin’s ‘Selected Ambient Works – Volume II’ and my first encounter with the British electronic producer. Also probably the date I met my future wife. Celebrating the 30th anniversary of both with a glass of red wine and new mix containing some old and newer material. Some all time favourite musicians here, so many people to thank for making the music I love. RIP Ryuichi and Arthur. There is an interesting presentation of ‘Selected Ambient Works – Volume II’ at Warp, with Richard himself highlighting some tracks with some interesting facts.
About Our Side Has To Win (for D.H.)
The D.H. mentioned in the title of the last track of GY!BE’s 2021 album is Dirk Hugsam, an independent tour agent and friend to many musicians affiliated with Constellation Records, who sadly passed away on December 21, 2018.
Mix #101. A special number and a special collection of songs. One of the strongest selections I have done so far. I Love every single one of these songs to death.
About ‘The Sea is Never Full’
The origin of this collaboration began two months prior to the Fukushima disaster in Japan. Dakota Suite had been touring Japan with their friends from the Japanese band called Vampillia and had been in several coastal locations in Wakayama as well as places near to Fukushima. The tsunami was very upsetting for Chris Hooson and David Buxton from Dakota Suite who then set about making music to reflect this overwhelming sadness and loss for Japan.
They approached Vampillia to work on these somber reflective songs for the sea. Vampillia is next-alternative music from Osaka. Guitar, Noise guitar, Bass, Piano, Classical Strings, Velladon on Opera, Mongoloid on the dark metal vocals alongside twin drummers Talow the Tornado (Nice View, Turtle Island) and Tatsuya Yoshida (Ruins).
From this lineup of 10 (sometimes more) comes experimental and beautiful dark music. Besides the new work with Dakota Suite, they have previously collaborated with acts such as µ-Ziq, Merzbow, Nadja and Lustmord. Their intense experimental style is the perfect fusion with the Dakota Suite aesthetic.
The songs came from a desire to reflect the phases of the disaster, the rising violent seas, the destructive power and loss preceding sorrow at the devastation which followed. Chris Hooson was haunted by images of floating pieces of wood which had once been someone’s ancient dwelling. The music Dakota Suite & Vampillia have recorded on ‘The Sea is Never Full’ seeks to provide a mechanism to deal with this pain cathartically.
Various short pieces were passed between Dakota Suite and Vampillia, who added strings and the distinctive throat singing of ‘mongoloid’ from Vampillia. Japanese throat singing speaks to an ancient method, called ‘rekukkara’. It is tonal rather than melodic. As Hooson says “It seemed an appropriate way to convey the sadness we felt at the horror of Fukushima, which knows no words to express it accurately.”
After basic recording had been completed, David Buxton, in an act of pure genius, took apart every note of the music and created a two-part suite. It is hard to convey the seismic shift in this project after David presented this music in the form that it now stands. Hooson on his Dakota Suite band colleague Buxton “It has been the highlight of my recording career so far and David would not like the attention I give him, but I believe that this work in particular deserves to be heard as it is a work of beautiful and tragic choreography, it is a tribute to his mastery of music.”
This type of art cannot be written or envisaged, it can only be received and interpreted. Listening to this project continues to engender enormous sorrow in the listener, but the true beauty of such art is that it can take this sorrow as a cathartic force to help one manage these feelings. ‘The Sea Is Never Full’ marks another momentous release for Karaoke Kalk. Together with Vampillia they have sculpted a truly epic record spanning musical styles from ambient and experimental to post-rock and neo-classical. Suffice to say, the result has nothing short if a breathtaking emotional impact.
About ‘Yanqui U.X.O.’
U.X.O. is unexploded ordnance is landmines is cluster bombs. Yanqui is post-colonial imperialism is international police state is multinational corporate oligarchy. Godspeed You! Black Emperor is complicit is guilty is resisting. The new album is just raw, angry, dissonant, epic instrumental rock. Recorded by Steve Albini at Electrical Audio in Chicago and mixed by Howard Bilerman and Godspeed You! Black Emperor at the original Hotel2Tango in Montreal.
Stubborn tiny lights vs. clustering darkness forever ok?
About ‘Horses In The Sky’
“We recorded some of it next to a campfire by the river, and the sleepy birds even chirped a little there beneath the moonlit trees; “yes we are oh yes we are thee silver mt. zion memorial orchestra and tra-la-la band”… troubled fingers strive to knit upward ladders, joyously; THESE SONGS ARE STICKY, WORRIED KNOTS – everyone sang and handclapped too – (we learned to play these songs on the road mostly …)
“THIS IS OUR TORCHED ESTATES” = 6 busted “waltzes” for world wars 4 thru 6, or the sound of our nervous unit collapsing across sing-song eruptions of anxious light and clumsy heat, “mystery and wonder, messy hearts made of thunder,” tape recorded at thee mighty hotel2tango for all the GENTLE dreamers to cradle or discard… the politics of it is just love thy neighbour mostly, or heartbroken temper tantrums for grumpy refusers, or saucy anthems for all the stubborn dumbass resistance cadres maybe … (first song’s about war and drug addiction, fourth song’s about Kanada, and the rest of it is all love songs truly truly truly …) the indignant critics amongst us should note that as usual there’s more questions than answers here, more complaints than solutions, and at times the group singing is a little out of tune; the name of the record is “Horses in the Sky”, and we thank you all for still listening”.
About ‘Hymn To The Immortal Wind’
Just in time for their 10-year anniversary, MONO return with their fifth studio album, the absolutely massive ‘Hymn To The Immortal Wind’. The music is naturally majestic, with MONO’s trademark wall of noise crashing beautifully against the largest chamber orchestra the band has ever enlisted. The instrumentation is vast, incorporating strings, flutes, organ, piano, glockenspiel and tympani into their standard face-melting set-up. While Hymn continues to mine the cinematic drama inherent in all of MONO’s music, the dynamic shifts now come more from dark-to-light instead of quiet-to-loud. The maturity to balance these elements so masterfully has become MONO’s strongest virtue – save for perhaps their uncanny ability to sound every bit like a plane crashing into a Beethoven concert.
About ‘Do Make Say Think’
Do Make Say Think self-released this debut album in Toronto in 1997, and we heard it the following spring. The band’s infectious spacerock-cum-swing approach to sweeping instrumentals, and their brilliant realisation of the potentials of 8-track recording, hooked us instantly. Rhythm syncopation, reverb-soaked guitar, the occasional horn, and some of the finest saturated synth tones we’ve ever heard – this record conjures up rainy streets and wet cigarettes with the best of them. A classic modern lounge album that also shreds, with widescreen breakbeat blissouts driven by punk-rock guitars. An exuberant debut, containing all the building blocks DMST has been transforming into sublime music architectures ever since.
Omit’s ‘inSec’ is “new,” but not new. Recorded in 2013, the masters lost in the label’s murky somewheresville that always shows up when moving. For those who don’t know, Omit is an experimental electronics artist from New Zealand’s south island who, since 1990, has released thirty-some xerographed cassettes and CDrs in the Dead C orbit for those who do. It’s not enough to say that ‘inSec’ is an ambient masterpiece bringing to mind a John Carpenter soundtrack performed by the Hub because listening to it engineers new species. In this century that flatters itself to be of drinking age, it is a queer thing we haven’t come face to face with aliens.  Besides the xenobiological effects, Omit constructs your sentiment through timbral concepts that repeat and shift with minimal reference to harmony, melody, key, or mode.
Probably the best couple of minutes in this collection. If you don’t feel the chills while listening to one of Wrest‘s biggest accomplishments in a 20 year career in extreme metal, namely LoC’s self-titled opus, then this mix is not for you and you better skip to one of my safest Ambient mixes right now.
Few contemporary industrial acts are spoken of in such highly reverential terms as Alberich, the solo project of underground super-producer Kris Lapke. While Lapke himself may best be known for his production and mastering work, both for such diverse sounding acts like Prurient, Nothing and The Haxan Cloak to his audio restoration work for Coum Transmissions and Shizuka, Alberich has achieved a cult on par with many of the legends he works with. Lapke’s diverse contributions as a producer are recognizable for the perfect balance of maximalist and minimalist electronics that Alberich has relentlessly authored. Since Alberich’s 2010 masterful and highly collectable 2.5 hour NATO- Uniformen album, he has become a powerful force of modern industrial music. With only a series of limited tape and split releases, fans have been waiting with bated breath for a true follow up album. The first full-length Alberich album in almost a decade, Quantized Angel will be released April 12, 2019. In the intervening years between albums Alberich has grown more nuanced, creating atmosphere and tension on par with Silent Servant’s classic Negative Fascination LP in regards to production and attention to detail. The results create a newly polished but no less intense vision of modern industrial music. Over the course of the album’s eight tracks, Alberich demonstrates a vision of ruthless existential electronics, a sound both commanding yet questioning in introspective spirit.
Operation Cleansweep‘s 3rd release in the Release Now! series, this consists of unreleased Material of lost Tapes and material created during Operation Cleansweep’s creative period between 1995-2004.
Some of these tracks have been live performed in Munich 2002 and at the bands last gig in Dresden 2017. Here you have the typical ground-breaking saw/ing sound of what OC is in/famous for. This could easily by their best release-and their bands legacy. Operation Cleansweep unfortunately does no longer exist – but you can still hear the violent call to die!
About Secret Pyramid’s ‘A Vanishing Touch’
While possibly not the first ambient record to be inspired by J Dilla’s Donuts, Secret Pyramid’s A Vanishing Touch is in rarified company. The two seem antithetical – with Donuts a now classic collection of short beats compiled together and A Vanishing Touch being a 40-minute suite consisting of 14 pieces. However, like any genre, ambient music has a lot more going on beneath the surface than might be initially gleaned.
From the start, Amir Abbey dropped his usual songwriting process of long contemplation and careful sculpting. “I let the pieces live and breathe, and I spent a lot less time tweaking and editing. Doing this “brought an energy and mystery to the music that was missing from what I’ve made in the past.” This allowed the record to come together quickly”, with Abbey working on it nightly after his work day had ended. “Each album is a snapshot of where I am at that point in time. With this album, I have been thinking about shifting memory, how a moment in time does not need to be thought of as endless, but rather part of a cycle. Every beginning is as important and salient as the ending that follows.”
Working at home, as he always has, Abbey embeds synths, tape loops and processing, horns, ondes martenot, guitar, bass, and organ within the multi-tiered composition of A Vanishing Touch. Sounds morph, bleed, fade, and permeate with moments where a listener is able to make out what is being played at that moment. “I’ve intentionally blurred some of the instrumentation and it can’t be easily made out, so even if you pay attention to the sound, there’s something ephemeral about it.” Each measure feels deep, singular, mysterious, and unconfined.
It’s a new approach to ambience – the magic of the moment as a moment, not stretched beyond its point in time. “A Vanishing Touch is about impermanence and the beauty that can result from it.”
About the cover album: Two years after the release of their second album “Bareback” on Svart Records in 2018, Throat close the cycle on the album with a double remix version. Presumably a first within the noise-rock scene, Throat invited artists from the international noise/industrial scene to select a song off “Bareback” and deconstruct/destroy/rearrange the raw studio tracks provided to them. As a result, “Bareback (Stripped & Remasked)” contains a remixed version of the original album. The artists/groups participating on “Bareback (Stripped & Remasked)” include Government Alpha, Himukalt, Deison, Black Leather Jesus, Sshe Retina Stimulants, Vanhala, Heat Signature, Like Weeds, Linekraft, Lasse Marhaug, Concrete Mascara, Erratix, Niku Daruma, Kazuma Kubota, Jarl and Keränen.
Final word of warning: if you are looking for straight-up noise rock or new Throat material and can’t stand to have your head pierced by harsh noise power tools, this release may not be for you.
One of the most important multimedia artists of his generation, and surely one of the greatest experimental composers of our time, American minimalist composer, filmmaker and video artist Phill Niblock has passed away last 8th January aged 90. His ‘Intermedia Art’ features a combination of minimalist music, conceptual art, structural cinema, systematic or even political art, and has actively contributed to transform our perception and experience of time.
Phill Niblock initiated his career as a photographer and film director. A jazz passionate, he moved to New York in 1958 where he started photography in the mid-1960s, specializing in portraits of jazz musicians (Duke Ellington, Charles Mingus, Billy Strayhorn…). In the middle of the 1960s, he made his first films for the dancers and choreographers of the Judson Church Theater. From 1968 on, he focused on music and composed his first pieces, which, according to the artist, maintained from the start that they should be listened to at loud volume (in the region of/close to 120db) in order to explore their overtones.
Phill Niblock was particularly interested in the screening of moving images—films and slideshows. Produced between 1966 and 1969, Six Films, a series of short films with sound realised with 16mm film, heralds his experimental method through portraits of artists and musicians such as Sun Ra and Max Neuhaus. In 1968, the artist started experimenting a combination of his visual productions with his musical scores in order to create sound architectural and environmental compositions.
Phill Niblock was the director of Experimental Intermedia, a foundation born in the flames of 1968’s barricade-hopping.
He pursued his film projects independently with ‘The Movement of People Working’, a long series of films lasting over 25 hours made between 1973 and 1991, depicting human labor in its most basic form. Filmed on 16 mm and then on digital video, in rural areas of places such as Peru, Mexico, Hungary, Hong Kong, the Arctic, Brazil, Lesotho, Sumatra, China, Japan and Portugal (a still of the Portugal intervention. to the right). The Movement of People Working focuses on work seen as a choreography of movements and gestures, sublimating the mechanical yet natural repetition of workers’ actions. The films are accompanied by slow evolving musical compositions with minimalist harmony. The sound volume offers a visceral experience where the superposition of tones echoes the repetitiveness of the workers’ activity. The project has been exhibited extensively with Phill and an eclectic group of guest musicians providing the music for the screenings.
RIP Phill Niblock (1933-2024)

Still from ‘The Movement of People Working’.

Play Video

Finally watched ‘Come Worry With Us‘, a 81 minute documentary directed by Helene Klodawsky released back in 2013. It follows violinist Jessica Moss and singer/guitarist Efrim Menuck of internationally acclaimed Montreal-based band Thee Silver Mt. Zion Memorial Orchestra, as they struggle to balance parenthood with making music and touring. They are one of a growing number of bands to have accepted an infant (Efrim and Jessica’s son, Ezra) into their touring life. Making a living has never been more difficult for musicians: a downloading generation has shattered the economics of the music industry, and constant touring has become synonymous with economic survival.


With a superb intro from The Bastard Noise’s 2010 masterpiece ‘A Culture of Monsters’ which Eric Wood himself confirmed to me is narrated by Creation is Crucifixion‘s vocalist Nathan Martin, here is another mix of the charged and punishing variant featuring a few of the best albums of 2023 as well as introducing meth., a Chicago noise band I will be keeping an eye on.
Arrowounds was a very good surprise in 2023. There’s a good interview with Ryan S. Chamberlain in the Headphone Commute website, its a round of his studio where we learn about his gear and production techniques he employs to achieve the dense layers of sounds that characterise the sound of Arrowounds.
I watched Midsommar for the first time this week. The score is awesome. I am a big Bobby Krlic fan since the time of The Haxan Cloak.
Mexican composer Gibrana Cervantes latest album ‘How do we pass on eternity?’ is the result of a deep immersion in Mahler’s symphony No. 5, where the vital losses are intertwined with the creation of a rethoric formulation. Recorded in the FOA2 Studio in Tepotzlan, Mexico, the album becomes a masterpiece merging the philosophy, the holistic sanity and the introspection through the music. With its central theme, “Moving Through Our Waters”, Gibrana reveals her connection with nature, especially with the Pixquiac River in Veracruz, where the river currents and the flow of the water are transformed into a unique sound experience. Catch her with Rafael Anton Irisarri next March 2024 at London’s Cafe Oto.

Gibrana Cervantes

Ketev is the realm in which Berlin based sound artist Yair Elazar Glotman employs his unique ambient technoid soundscapes to explore the balance between darkness and light, fragility and strength, and tension and release. ‘Traces of Weakness’ follows up the solo contrabass LP ‘Études’ for Subtext records, and continues to expand on the themes explored on previous Ketev albums for Where To Now? and Opal Tapes. ‘Traces of Weakness’ was recorded at EMS Stockholm using their Buchla Modular Synth, and processed with reel-to-reel tape manipulations including personal archived field recordings.
Play Video
The beguiling melodies of LEYA occupy a space between many worlds—mixing Medieval sensibilities with modern folk, classical, and pop. The duo is comprised of harpist Marilu Donovan, who uses a unique tuning system, and vocalist/violinist Adam Markiewicz, who blends operatic singing in multiple languages with warm string tones. Their talents culminate in a sound that is instantly recognizable in its uneasy otherworldliness. Prominent collaborators of theirs include Eartheater, Brooke Candy, Actress, Liturgy, Okay Kaya, Julie Byrne, and many others. Their catalog spans two albums, a collaborative mixtape, major fashion house commissions, and much more. This project is supported by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Program in Public Understanding of Science and Technology, bridging the two cultures of science and the arts.
Yagian, not Johnny Depp.
Odz Manouk is one of the good surprises of 2023. Listen to the full album here
A new collection of strong atmospheric black metal hymns for that crisp February dusk stroll.
Containing tracks from three albums in my top 20 of 2023, from Odz Manouk, Thantifaxath and Panopticon. Now Odz Manouk is an extraordinary surprise this year, sitting pretty much in between the introspective atmosphere of late Deathspell Omega and the ferocity of Craft. Odz Manouk is a one-man black metal project formed in 2005 by a guy called Yagian who hails from warm Long Beach, California.
In light of these Covid circumstances, I was offered the gift of time. An abundance of time over the course of the first 6 months of Covid-19, with the forced lockdowns, to focus on the design and format of this website.
After many years of wanting to make my own online journal, a readily available resource, a sort of anthology of my favourite music, movies, books and whatever else that is dearest to me, and after countless web design concepts, sacrificing hours on end towards an ever-mutating code, I have finally conceded it was time to start posting. I got through the basics of WordPress and managed just enough to make this possible on my own.
This idea had many iterations and lives, just like a piece of software that is out but continuously tested and changed, many web domains were registered and loaded with test content, pieces of news that were news for 1 week until they weren’t, some album and movie reviews, unique events happening… while I was playing with the design side and foregoing the publish button. It felt like I would never get anywhere with it.
Living in London for nearly 20 years always served as inspiration for this very website, this one I am happy with now. Engaging with so many kindred souls, getting to know so much about the inner circle of the contemporary fashion and music scenes we inhabited. And a blog to document it all was always a fantastic idea, but the right design, and the code always pushed the finished product to “someday”.
First came Blogger and Livejournal in 1999, and by the time WordPress CSM was developed in 2003 I was already working on my own website with the ever fluid html. This first iteration was registered as todayistheday.co.uk. The name was in honor of the Nashville, Tennessee Experimental Noise/Metal band Today is the Day – fronted by the mercurial Steve Austin – such was the impact the 1997 release ‘Temple of The Morning Start’ had in me.
This mix was originally put together in January 2003, together with Mix #1 – Top 20 Albums of the 80’s (UK). The idea of making mixes was back with a bang, some 15 years after the thrill of trading cassettes in high school. Digital was now entrenched in everything I did, so the time had come to rip all the cds and convert them to mp3s so I could feed the chunky Archos AV mp3 player station. Experimenting with Audacity and realising it featured crossover and fade in/out commands was the ticket to creating this and the #2 mix.
My feelings for the albums featured in these Top20’s haven’t changed. These are still the bands and the albums that I consider to be the most significant during these forming years. Most of them are among the very first records I ever heard and/or owned. They all relate to special moments during my growing pains, the unique 80’s, the parties and gigs, the girls, wanting to form a band, to influence others. This is why they are special, they were lived, experienced in the whole meaning of the word.
Growing Up in the 80’s
I was born in the 1970’s and spent my teen years in the 80’s, which I regard as the most revolutionary decade in music.
Living through the 80’s is very different to learning about the 80’s. Early on I was exposed to a clear divide consisting of three very different stylistic factions: those who were into the past and weren’t adventurous at all; the scene supporting UK’s punk/post-punk and NYC’s no-wave; and those who preferred progressive rock and US radio rock/hard-rock/glam.
I would give them all a chance, on the back of my youngest uncle Manuel’s love for 60’s spirited rock which influenced my early music taste. In the early 80’s, in Portugal… still oblivious to what was going on in the UK, I was delving in his records and discovering The Doors, Jefferson Airplane, Pink Floyd, The Beatles and David Bowie… and then, clear as today, I listened to The Velvet Underground’s ‘All Tomorrow’s Parties’ and my world changed.
My preferences manifested from listening to these revolutionary 6 minutes of music: I was instantly attracted to a darker and more experimental side of music and I didn’t know yet but my first contact with Joy Division, a significant turning point in my life, was just around the corner.
Back in 1985 I changed schools and met a bunch of kids that were in bands and had all these new records from bands I never knew existed. By the time I first listened to Sex Pistols, Joy Division and Bauhaus – the holy trinity of my new music baptism – all of them had disbanded. Sid Vicious was dead. Ian Curtis was dead.
It was very strange… what was effectively new and exciting for me was either dead or had transformed into something else so quickly that it was difficult to grasp at the newness when so much of the ‘old’ was still so fresh and relevant for teens growing up in rural northern Portugal, of all places.
Discovering new bands and tape trading became my drug. I would spend entire nights recording my favourite tracks to tape on my father’s trusty Pioneer hi-fi separates. I remember selling my ZX Spectrum console to buy records (I was never into games), a friend of mine crashed my Yamaha trial bike into a ditch and I channeled the money my parents gave me for the repair onto records, booze and drugs.
My big issue then was to get enough new music to be worthy of consideration when trading with the other guys. Whoever got the best tapes playing on a Friday night party was the coolest, and back then you were cool for casually dressing down, having an attitude and good taste in music, not for sporting the latest iphone and dressing Balenciaga.
Looking back, this flourishing of the punk and post-punk movement, with its extraordinary influence on everything from fashion to politics had no parallel in the decades that followed and no subsequent, stubborn revivals of this phenomenon barely touched its true significance to those who lived it, then and there.
Already in my late teens I attend my first concert at the Tivoli in Porto, in December 1988. It’s Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds. Another magic moment in my life. I don’t remember the set list but a quick search online informs that the first song was ‘From Her to Eternity’ and the last was ‘Saint Huck’, my favourite songs from Nick at the time together with ‘The Carny’ from 1986 ‘Your Funeral… My Trial’ which they didn’t play. I have vivid memories of that day. It was July but it was raining, the small stage, Nick and Blixa antics during the show and the excitement of the crowd.
This gig was also fresh on the heels of the movie ‘Wings of Desire’ directed by German director Wim Wenders. The monochrome movie had been released early that year and had garnered cult status, no less because it shows the band playing two songs in a Berlin’s music venue basement (The Carny and From Her to Eternity). The band also makes a cameo appearance. It all aligned in a fantastic way that night. I was living the scene, ‘Wings of Desire’ style…, Nick’s slender figure, dishevelled black hair and black and white attire a reminder of how to look cool. Nick was the coolest guy in music those days (not Rick Astley) and even almost 40 years after that day, Nick still gets the love from his crowds as I witnessed a couple of years ago at the Primavera Porto festival.
Some of the most celebrated bands of the time would come to play in Portugal in the years that followed and I was lucky to experience unique performances from The Cure, P.I.L, The Sisters of Mercy, Echo & The Bunnymen and Killing Joke (opening for Pixies!) to name a few.
Public Image Limited was a highlight, as I was very much into their sound around the release of Album in 1986 and it’s a memorable moment to see a legend like John Lydon live innit?
It’s obvious that early on I was a sucker for the darker side in a flagrant contrast to the garage rock sound of the Buzzcocks, The Clash, and the like. As already mentioned, It took me a while to absorb all this new music and as I progressed with getting to know and listen to more bands my taste had already fall victim to everything that would resemble Joy Division and The Cure.
I preferred English bands but not of the immediate punk-rock type, I always admired the histrionics of post-punk and (some) goth bands for their fashion and theatricals, avant-garde sensibilities and non-rock influences. Being attracted to the Nouvelle Vague of French Cinema has had a great influence on that early path. Monochromatic cinema, a gloomy tapestry of emotional outbursts of misrepresented youth. It all had to align perfectly, image was everything.
I’ll admit Sex Pistols, Dead Kennedys and The Cramps only make this list because they were inside the first 10 albums I ever owned so their impact is of paramount importance (there was also some partying and beer guzzling not only moody, pensive strides in foggy forests). For the sake of coherence I would never mix punk-ish with Bauhaus or Cocteau Twins but this mix serves a different purpose.
On the theme of first ever purchases, there is this undeniable special character to these releases. I kind of learned to love these albums then because they were mine, I chose to buy them and I dissected every single track, the music, the lyrics, the themes behind the lyrics, then the inlay cards, the thanks list, the subliminal, often coded messages. All of this has now disappeared. It doesn’t make any sense to my kids. It is a shame.
By 1988-89 the music landscape had changed tremendously. I was pretty much done with post-punk, the scene was full of wannabes with bauhaus t’s and copycat bands still going were delivering terrible music. Production values had changed and a new crop of bands were experimenting, crossing over the boundaries of genre and delivering albums that are still seen as classics today. Some of the highlights come from bands such as the Stone Roses, Pale Saints, Spacemen 3, Coil, The Legendary Pink Dots… I was still fully committed to music coming from the UK but it was impossible to look away from what was coming from the US.
This mix was originally put together in January 2003, together with Mix #2 – Top 20 Albums of the 80’s (USA).
The idea of making mixes was back with renewed excitement, some 15 years after the teenage thrill of trading cassettes in high school. At the turn of the millennium Digital was entrenched in everything I did, so the time had come to rip all the cds and convert them to mp3s so I could feed the chunky Archos AV player station.
Experimenting with Audacity and realising it featured crossover and fade in/out commands was the ticket to creating this and the #2 mix as an ode to the past, the most eccentric of decades, the 80’s.
My feelings for the albums featured in these Top 20’s haven’t changed. These are still the bands that I consider to be the most significant during these forming years. These albums changed the course of my life. Most of them are among the very first records I ever heard and/or owned. They all relate to special moments during my growing pains, the parties and gigs, the girls, wanting to form a band, to influence others. This is why they are special, they were lived, experienced in loco, with the psyche of the time, with the fashion of the time, the politics, the fears, the ingenuity and honesty of life before selfies and social. I am glad I was there.
I’ve been around for half a century. This is a mix with music I feel like listening to these days. Cinematic and often arresting, sound sketches for use in my homemade videos, revisiting childhood corn fields at dusk or foggy winter mountain tops. No cars in sight, no brutalism. Just nature, light and sound. It works just as fine when using them as interludes between longer instrumental post-rock songs, in keeping with the quiet/loud dynamics.
I remember being intrigued with The (Fallen) Black Deer’s Latitutes release when it came out, so now for a major reveal: Josh Graham and Greg Burns, who were on tour with their band Red Sparrowes, entered London’s Southern Studios in October 2006 and with no preparation recorded their own version of a soundtrack to Stanley Kubrick’s classic ‘The Shining’, particularly concentrating on the last half of the film – where the unforgettable Jack Torrance slowly disintegrates into a psycho and the inevitable and infamous conclusion draws in. This is the result, a contemporary take on a possible soundtrack for one of my favourite American movies ever.
Russian Circles is one of my favourite bands, producing album after album of instrumental music that reinvents the band every time. This mix pairs them with bands of similar ilk, but most of them are no longer active, like  Capricorns who rocked my world back in 2005 with their debut ‘Ruder Forms Survive’ – a release who promised a band capable of spectacular instrumental post-metal, whom I placed up there in a podium consisting of Isis and Cult of Luna…,  and 5ive – a Boston based band that when they were known as 5ive’s Continuum Research Project were pretty darn exhilarating but in this Hesperus release, their swan song, sound like a bland version of RC. Still, this track rocks and deserves its place in this mix.