Archive for December, 2011

Skrow041: Quinn Fox - Extended Mission

Quinn Fox - Extended Mission

Download album & art (62 mb zip)

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We’re mad excited up in here, because right now we are officially welcoming our good friend Quinn Fox to the Skrow! family by dropping Extended Mission, the long-awaited followup to his 2008 effort, Resonant Yaw.  Y’all better recognize.  RESPECK!

Lavish space-age synth grooves that consistently tread that precarious line between rock and pop with an effortless smooth-but-edgy dichotomy, atop which rest the sensuous croons and occasional passionate shouts generated by Quinn’s distinct baritone.  The result is an engaging atmosphere, encompassing easily accessible songs which reveal hidden layers of sound and meaning on requisite repeat listens.

Headphones, car, day, night, whatever.  This shit is good anywhere, anywhen.  Please enjoy with us.

Tracklisting:

  1. Master Alarm (4:18)
  2. New Skills (3:16)
  3. Empty Collections (2:56)
  4. Taikonaut (3:30)
  5. Pretty Neat Girl (3:40)
  6. Saber Rattler (3:36)
  7. Leave It There (2:36)
  8. Automatic Manual (3:22)

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Wednesday, December 21st, 2011 Audio Releases 1 Comment

Skrow030: Skrow!Media Compilation #1: Quit Your Day Job

Quit Your Day Job

Download album & art (209.7 mb zip)

Download art booklet only (9.1 mb zip)

Remember on the last album release post, when I said this thing was coming out in a few days?  Yeah, well… we reside in a world in which thirty or so still counts as a few.  Roll with it.  You have no choice in the matter.  ANYWAY…

The perpetually delayed mythical Skrow!Media compilation has finally come to light!  This satisfyingly diverse collection boasts 27 tracks by alumni and friends of Skrow!, clocking in at almost an hour and 45 minutes of semi-organized disturbances in air pressure.  Enjoy them with headphones and/or speakers, alone and/or with friends, drugs and/or no drugs.  Try it however you like!  See the included graphics for useless information about the songs and artists!  Use bombs wisely!

(Click on the tracks listed below if you’d like to download songs individually.)

Tracklisting:

  1. Philistine on the Sidewalk - Taking Advantage of Impermanence (5:44)
  2. Portmanteau - Frenetic Relaxation (Dirty Mix) (4:42)
  3. Captain Tortilla - Raito (3:17)
  4. Recreational Episiotomy - Herring Diabolis (0:28)
  5. Frankenstain - Potassium Cyan (9:07)
  6. Bukkake Earlobe - Lassitude (6:14)
  7. Cigarettes & Clip-Art - An Introduction to Letterhead (4:48)
  8. Mithius - The Palace of 1000 Lizards: Level 1 Boss: The Lizard King (2:26)
  9. Dooz - Midelectrock (5:25)
  10. Saffron Slumber - Temicxoch (6:10)
  11. Thaumaturgist - Homosexuals (5:49)
  12. temp sound solutions and Phlogiston - grarfed (2:15)
  13. FreddeGredde - Mega Man 9 Medley (7:27)
  14. Zio and TEH LOLZ - Non-Micron Ribs (2:36)
  15. The Beauty of Grind - Family Feud - Punch Your Mom in the Face (0:55)
  16. Lunghammer - Untitled Skullfuck #1 (6:37)
  17. Aliasman - Thing (Put It In Yo Mouf) (1:14)
  18. Vito Genovese - Westcott (4:13)
  19. Hemostat - Hirudo Troctina (2:55)
  20. Nario - Welcome to 2002 (1:46)
  21. The Sticky Situation - Jhaw Driopo (4:00)
  22. Mowage - Ass Explosion Double Play (0:48)
  23. Unikron - Wolfmotherfucker (1:37)
  24. Daemon9623 - Solar Blossoms (1:35)
  25. Ellipse - Incomprehensible Void Patterns (5:25)
  26. earthbreather - Obsidian Beach (4:19)
  27. Quinn Fox - Solo Voltaic (3:14)

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Saturday, December 3rd, 2011 Audio Releases 3 Comments

DisasterPEACE - Deorbit

Disasterpeace - Deorbit

Disasterpeace - Deorbit

I happened to notice a few weeks ago that the highly respected and inimitable Rich Vreeland, better known to most of us as DisasterPEACE, is now offering his entire catalogue up to the world with a “pay what you want” model, which basically means FREE, but you should really give this guy money because he’s good and good indie artists should be rewarded for what they do and I promise I’ll stop preaching now.

Anyway, I also noticed he’s released a new EP titled Deorbit, so I downloaded the shit out of it and made it an immediate part of my worktime rotation.  My initial impression was that much of it resembles this year’s earlier release, Rise of the Obsidian Interstellar, which felt to me like pieces of Vangelis and Mike Oldfield being dragged forward in time from the early 70s, accruing influence as they go like some kind of musical Katamari.  8 and 16 bit chip, prog rock of varying eras, a hefty dose of that minimalism-inspired electronica, all drawn together in ways that are universally modern.  It occurs to me that looking forward while looking back is perhaps the key to relevancy, and Disasterpeace excels in this here.  Perhaps the most stunning part of this EP is the fact that it seems it is comprised primarily of tracks that he couldn’t find a place for on other efforts.  This man’s deletions are better than most artists’ intentions.  Frankly sickening.

The album starts with a melancholic bit of mystique and atmosphere, a desolate melody awash in echo and faint noise, accompanied briefly by a sparse beat.  This introduction gives way to the stunning “Polis,” which exemplifies the Katamari description given above.  Bouncing minimal synths juxtapose a slick 11/8 groove with fat bottomed bass to make the rockin’ world go round and positively gorgeous leads, the whole thing culminating in guitar lines that neatly slice open my skull, remove my brain, give it a good spitshine, and put it back in place upside down.

The other biggest highlight for me is “Sober Colony,” which I was until now unaware was already released way back in 2007 on a themed Pause compilation called Town.  Folks… I’m not exaggerating to say that my discovery of this song was an existence-defining moment.  I can no longer imagine life without it.  It’s that fucking good.  The 5/4 groove is so irresistibly supreme as to lend credence to the idea of 5 as a magic number.  And then the song’s B section (e.g. starting at about the 1:04 mark) descends on me like an avalanche; inconceivably heavy, with all of the immense power and beauty of a natural formation, and capable of besetting my spine with uncontrollable chills.

Allow me to further put this into perspective and say that this is not coming from a longtime Disasterpeace fanboy.  Prior to this year, I’d only heard parts of a few albums, and while I found them enjoyable and I respected the artist for what he means to the scene, I wasn’t extremely into the music.  With these two latest releases, that stance has shifted considerably, and I’ll now be delving much more deeply into the entirety of the man’s catalogue.  I encourage anyone else with ears to do the same.

Disasterpeace on the web

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Thursday, December 1st, 2011 Reviews No Comments

Dissolution - Dirt Skies

Dissolution - Dirt Skies

Dissolution - Dirt Skies

Four long years have passed since Winnipeg-based death metal act Dissolution’s last release, Dying. Dead. Undead. In that time, they have refined and sharpened their sound while simultaneously further honing their already very solid DIY production skills.

The resulting album is a 50 minute relentless onslaught of perfectly balanced brutality and musicality.  This, if you ask me, is classic death circa 2011.  If I had to slap a genre tag on it (since people are wont to require such things, for some reason), I’d have to call it melodic death metal, but very much in the vein of Heartwork-era Carcass, and not the shadow of its former self this style has become.  But while Dissolution may seemingly wear these influences on their collective sleeve, they rigorously execute their craft with power and finesse in a context that is undeniably modern and creates for a powerful atmosphere of nostalgic but relevant headbanging.

The dual-guitar assault is the ever-present centerpiece of the album, a ceaseless cavalcade of blistering riffs in which excellent facemelting solos abound.  This stringed attack is highlighted with precision by contrasting low and high harsh vocal styles.  The bass is largely transparent in that it is primarily doubling and underpinning one or other of the guitar parts, but it is actually audible, which is more than one can say for a large quantity of extreme metal albums, both classic and current.  If I have one nitpick for the entirety of the album, it’s that the drum arrangements are somewhat unimaginative, and there are a few sections where he uses a particular type of blastbeat that doesn’t rhythmically mesh perfectly with the rest of the instrumentation, resulting in fleeting passages of perceived awkwardness or sloppiness.  His performance and the band overall are otherwise very tight, though, and this record is such an unmitigated blitzkrieg of sickness that I’m loath to dock it any points on the scarce few flaws my fastidious ears might find.

Dirt Skies is available now on Dissolution’s bandcamp and is well worth the paltry asking price.  Premium quality independent metal to break your neck to.  What more could you want?

Dissolution on bandcamp

Dissolution on facebook

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Thursday, December 1st, 2011 Reviews 1 Comment
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