I will walk heavy and I will walk strange.

Mark Z. Danielewski

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Reviews | Sarah Davachi

In 2014, during the lead up to their US premiere in Tennessee, the experimental supergroup Nazoranai, which consists of Keiji Haino, Oren Ambarchi, and Stephen O’Malley, were the subject of a documentary by filmmakers Sam Stephenson and Ivan Weiss. At one point during the film, O’Malley describes a time when he was stopped from interrupting a Haino “soundcheck” because the Japanese musician was processing all of the oxygen in the venue, inhaling and exhaling for an hour until he was satisfied that all of the particles had passed through his respiratory system. On Two Sisters, it feels as if Sarah Davachi is permeating our pores in a similar fashion.

Reviews | Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith

Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith is dancing in an eye-scorching tumble of neon bricks and video game aesthetics. Her physical movements have been tracked via a motion capture suit and used to generate a 3D avatar of herself. It’s a hyperreal world that merges her new album’s sound palette and the 3D-generated visual landscapes that make up the accompanying music videos and the record’s sleeve artwork featuring her body wrapped in heat-sensitive armour, her hair and her left arm gloriously aflame.

Reviews | Staraya Derevnya

“Let’s say it’s a mass of data… waiting for a correct interpretation” – Peter Brock, The Stone Tape. In 1972, following the BBC’s airing of Christmas ghost story, The Stone Tape, a theory arose that the energy generated during traumatic or emotional events could be recorded onto rocks and replayed at a later date. This psychometric notion, known as The Stone Tape Theory, lays the foundations for the latest release from self-professed ‘Krautfolk collective’ Staraya Derevnya.

Holy Scum - Strange Desires

Combining the ear-flattening forces of Action Beat’s former axeman, Salford’s finest head Gnodders and the noise slinger responsible for Dälek’s atonal assault was never going to result in a bundle of twee folk tunes (mind you, The Body & Big Brave did surprise us on that count last year) but, despite prior forewarning, it’s still damn hard to prepare yourself for just how truly oppressive Holy Scum’s onslaught is on Strange Desires.

Knifedoutofexistence - Mist Clouds The View

There’s always been a sense of obfuscation with Knifedoutofexistence’s music. His vocals often appearing quite low in the mix, demanding that the listeners lean in to try and decipher his words. Then there’s the sound palette itself – bolshy, hardened distortion intermingling with struck metal, field recordings, and carved synths to create heady, shrouded atmospheres of loss and longing. Despite the eponymous allusions, Mist Clouds The View appears to buck this clouding trend.

Reviews | Wilma Vritra

Coming together via, I assume, a secret network of tunnels that stretch from Los Angeles to London, Wilma Archer and Vritra have followed up their 2019 collaboration, Burd, with the subterranean assemblage,Grotto. Despite the name, the production on Grotto is anything but dank. Archer’s sound palette has made a huge leap forward from the understated lo-fi sounds on Burd. Boasting a vast array of strings, orchestral swells, and coated in full technicolor luminescence, Grotto is an album for synaesthetes.

Clara Engel - Their Invisible Hands

When I was young my grandfather used to say that his favourite musician was Hank Williams. When pressed on why this was, his response was often that “he can make his guitar talk”. It was an answer that I struggled to understand as a child. Why would he want to make his guitar talk? Sing? Yes – I could see why that would be of use. Making it roar even seemed to make some sort of sense, but talking? Who would want to hear a guitar having a natter? I couldn’t wrap my head around it...

Buñuel - Killers Like Us

“We Came. We Saw. We Strangled.” So say the words of warning emblazoned across Buñuel’s Instagram page. This confession sums up, in more ways than one, the raucous cross continental crew made up of three Italian noise-niks with previous in such boisterous outfits as Snare Drum Exorcism (drummer Francesco Valente), Afterhours (guitarist Xabier Iriondo), Em4ncipation (bassist Andrea Lombardini), and rounded off by renaissance man and Oxbow vocalist, Eugene Robinson.

John M. Bennett - A Flattened Face Fogs Through

Poetry is a versatile old dog. It can serve as solace, as cheer, as a bawdy glimpse into adult life. It can rattle our preconceptions and warm our hearts, gift us a home in a barren land, and bore our undercrackers right off. And, sometimes, it can rewire our brains. Through incongruent word-twists synaptic lightning links unsuspecting neurons across previously untravelled brainscapes. With prose that tumbles like raindrops from a shook tree, John M. Bennett does this with at least two plombs.

Body/Dilloway/Head

Aaron Dilloway is on a roll. That’s not to say that he’s been off the boil but last year in particular his output was especially abundant. If he’d solely released the sensational split with Lucrecia Dalt, that would have been more than enough to sate eager ears. But he didn’t stop there. We were also treated to Hallucination Review, appearances on a whole host of compilations, and now this brain-blending collaboration with the formidable duo of Kim Gordon & Bill Nace.
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