February 2005 Archives

Because I like to cook and bake bread often in an improv fashion the results can be hit and miss - about 80% hit usually. However if you want to step beyond the bounds of what is considered a traditional pizza - my pizza recipe of tonight.

Fijian Papaya with Thai Pesto Pizza

My flatmate and I agreed it worked and was quite delicious.

I've been listening to some old school thrash metal recently courtesy of those masters of the genre - Kreator

When I moved to Sydney, the first album I purchased was Kreator's Renewal, a critically unpopular album for the band but one I adored then as I do now. It had a slight proto industrial edge and thus was rejected by the older school fans.

Lyrically and thematically I could see the album heavily referenced the breakdown of the iron curtain revealing both the legacy of the soviet rule and the impact it had on delaying the renewal of Europe.

I really connected with the music and lyrics such as the following:

"Come with me, to where all greed
Ends honesty is all that matters
Far from here, awareness far beyond
Industrial intellect
Lay on me for the ones who felt
The same way won't forget us
All I lose concrete slavery
Liberty so imperfect"

and

"Imperfection, new temptation
Innocence will breed new life
Disillusion, desperation
Free my mind and let it rise
Mass enslavement, brutal torment
Tomorrow will they see it clear
Resurrection, disconnection
Substance that can make us fly without fear
Without fear"

Kreator are still producing excellent work, with their latest release "Enemy of God" which is chock full of commentary on the current screwed up world.

"How much more can you take
Propaganda mind control
From the cradle to the grave
Poisoned fruits to kill the soul
The weak following the blind
Fearful hearted empty eyed
In this mortal plane of slaves
Life's opressors cannot be destroyed

All I see is Terror
All I see is pain
All I see is mothers dragging children to their graves
A curse as old as time an armageddon misery
Spectators of a World in ruins
Hypnotised I'm staring at

Impossible Brutality / Is all there was is all there'll ever be "

When people ask me about the themes of metal and it's influence on violence I am always amazed as thematically it is one of the few genres to actively talk about the innate violence and negativity in life/society - offering both a safe outlet for this negativity and also a forum to discuss the issues which deserve as much focus as love songs or other popular music topics.

Many fans misinterpret this, that is their own immaturity and lack of understanding and cannot be blamed on the bands or the scene, which is generally quite peaceful.

Recent listening has been mostly confined to the new Frantic Bleep. Like the other acts I have heard from UK's Elitist Records (Farmakon and Ephel Duath) the first albums are more a demonstration of the wealth of ideas and resources the band intends to draw upon during their career. In all three cases, it is however an impressive demo.

Frantic Bleep hail from Norway and although young show a lot of promise. Whilst still within the boundaries of metal, even the name indicates how willing they are to step outside this illusionary barrier. I would describe the vocals as a definite highlight as the arangements, performance and diversity of styles really impress.

Released in the US on the End Records, they have much in common with their label mates Madder Mortem including vocal and production contributions from Madder's vocalist - Agnete M. Kirkevaag.

Stylistically, there is more in common with avant garde bands like Arcturus than the slightly nu-metal influenced Madder Mortem.

An impressive debut and a band to look out for in the future.

just got back from Isis, ever so slightly intoxicated as a result of a couple of beers after the gig

Isis was great, just short of exceptional - the mix favoured the bass too much but the performance and technicality was amazing, there was a girl near us who had her eyes closed and was swaying gently throughout the performance. At times, I was in the same near meditative state.

Watched Nunchucka Superfly after Isis, they were good, Blackie and Ray never disappoint.

Prior to the gig, warmed up with some old school metal, Iron Maiden the early years, which contains some outstanding performances from the band who are the most shop lifted in Sweden (a fact which in itself explains the Gothenburg sound)

Before that Mindy annoyed me by finding Agalloch's grey EP and a t-short that could only fit him at a local metal store. I purchased the debut album by extremely diverse and accessible yet ground breaking Norwegian band Frantic Bleep. Who I had barely heard but know that their label Elitist is well and truly in their golden period. Thanks to the watchful eye of Lee Barret who in another age/label released Emperor, Enslaved and Opeth for early exposure outside of Scandanavia via his then label Candlelight.

A while back when chatting in person to various mates, I realised how important it is for bands to provide pronunciation guides for their names these days. With my musical tastes and bands fast running out of ordinary names like The Beatles or Yes, it is becoming more important to know how to correctly pronounce bands - how do you correctly pronounce Agalloch? For Dälek they indicate the correct pronunciation is more like dyalek, despite the obvious desire to ignore the umlats and pronounce the good ol' BBC way.

Thanks to Astrid I've had an invaluable guide to the correct way to pronounce the myriad of Norse bands in my collection. Scandinavia set an important trend in metal by making it perfectly acceptable to utilise languages other than English for band/song names and lyrics. With bands like Ulver writing using old Danish and Enslaved using in the language of west (and country) regions of Norway - nynorsk.

This trend has been picked up worldwide, with metal bands writing in for example - Hebrew, Ukrainian and Gaelic without this being an impairment to modest success in the key English speaking markets like the US.

via DJ Martian: The winners of Norway's 2005 Alarm Awards:

  • Best electronica album: Ralph Myerz & The Jack Herren Band - 'Your New Best Friends'
  • Best pop album: Annie - 'Anniemal'
  • Best metal album: Enslaved - 'ISA'
  • Best jazz album: Lars Horntvedt - 'Pooka'
  • Best video: Kings of Convenience - 'I’d Rather Dance With You'
  • Best song: Euroboys - 'One-Way Street'
  • Best hip hop/rap album: Jaa9 & OnklP - 'Sjåre Brymæ'
  • Best rock album: WE – 'Smugglers'
  • Best live band: WE
  • Best newcomer: Annie
  • Alarmjuryens pris: Jim Stärk

For a full list of everyone who was nominated NRK.no - musikk"

Ipecac and balance

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I'm a strong believer in self healing systems, and that barring excess stresses our world is such an organism.

In the same way it seems that subconsciously we individuals strive for such balance.

Why else did I feel the desire to listen to the Viking/Pagan/Satanic output of the late musical genius Quothorn and his work as Bathory upon awakening yesterday. Then this morning without any subconscious prompting I instead opted for the subtly Christian and sublimely beautiful Sufjan Stevens.

Prior to this unlikely heaven vs hell mash-up my listening patterns have been on a near solid diet of material from Mike Patton's label - Ipecac.

Many independent labels or producers go through runs where nearly everything they touch and release is gold. Thankfully despite it being a few years since it's inception, the output from Ipecac is still quite solid, though slipping ever so slightly.

My recent interest in Ipecac has come from three different prongs. Firstly this Friday marks the first time Isis will play live in Sydney and I am extremely keen to see these purveyors of Metal cum art Noise meets Post Hardcore perform.

Secondly the band I originally picked up for their Dr Who influenced name - Dälek will be putting out their second release on Ipecac this month. Titled Absence, it barely departs from the same dark hip-hop meets art noise sound they fleshed out on their full length debut for the label, but the lyrics are more direct and scathing reflecting the darker social climate in their native USA. I also belatedly have just discovered a collaboration from last year between two generations of sonic destroyers, from the 70's corner come Germany's Faust facing off against the aforementioned Dälek. Egged on by the throwaway line in a Dälek/Techno Animal track from a few years back "How many MCs know who Faust is". The collaboration is amazingly effective but should have been restricted to an EP to ensure that the necessary culling of less than amazing tracks occurred.

Finally, whilst in Stavanger, Astrid and I spent an excellent afternoon exploring recent Norwegian releases. Amongst other things, I discovered how far Kari has travelled since her days with Third and the Mortal. However the only CD I purchased from this session was a collaboration between Stavanger local Kaada and the workaholic Mike Patton, entitled Romances. A much more accessible release than prior similar works by Patton, this is a blend of 19th Century Romantic/Classical with Ambient Soundscapes and Patton's trademark blend of Carnival and avant garde - wordless vocals, twisted toy keyboards and found sounds.

I am on my way home now, in Tokyo - Narita Airport and quite jetlagged.

Spent the day wandering around Tokyo with no real purpose due to being extremely tired.

Was interesting but to be honest aside from the people, who I already knew I liked the place has not grabbed me yet. This is understandable as I haven't had enough time to give it a chance.

Back in Sydney early tomorrow morning

Tord Gustavsen

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Last night Astrid and I went to see Tord Gustavsen Trio at the local venue Hall Toll. It was the first time the upstairs part of this venue had played host to live music.

The staff were amazed at how many people turned up, most people bought tickets at the door and the place was packed.

Acoustics weren't excellent, but were acceptable.

The performance was perfection, but too short - playing for in total maybe one hour and fifteen minutes. We sat side on to the stage with an excellent view of the drummer working his sublime magic.

Not as hypnotic as the Necks, but more crystalline and thoroughly enjoyable!

I've been so quiet internet wise since I arrived in Norway, but on my last day I discover a cafe with free wireless internet!! So here are some of the many pictures from the trip.

About this Archive

This page is an archive of entries from February 2005 listed from newest to oldest.

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