From the Swans…to Angels Of Light

Of all the late seventies-early eighties No Wave bands, the toughest and most uncompromising of the lot were held to be The Swans. Notorious for shows and music that were confrontational, and songs like ‘Raping A Slave’ (yes, you did read that right), Michael Gira and his not so merry men (and one woman, Jarboe) were one of those bands whose reputation is still infamous years later.

So it might come as a shock for those who haven’t followed Gira’s post-Swans career particularly closely (and I have to admit, I am no authority) but having read a review in The Wire, I had to get the latest album.

And I’m kinda smitten with his work. He now writes his songs on the acoustic guitar, as well as running his seminal Young Gods label in New York. These songs are well-worth hearing and have quite lush arrangements, without giving you the feeling that he’s got soft in his old age.

From the latest album We Are Him

Angels Of Light -‘Black River Song.’ mp3

Angels Of Light -‘The Man We Left Behind.’ mp3

Angels Of Light -‘Not Here Not Now.’ mp3

And two older tracks:

Angels Of Light -‘Praise Your Name.’ mp3 from New Mother

Angels Of Light -‘My True Body.’ mp3 (from How I Loved You)

and a Swans track too…

Swans -‘Sex God Sex.’ mp3

Young God Records are here

Mad, Bad and…interesting to hear #2

A few years back, when still working in a record shop, I was asked by one of the bosses if I could pick up a record on Sub Pop for him when I went to New York. Sure, I said. ‘You won’t forget this one,’ he said, ‘It’s Called ‘Stabbed in the face.” Well, no, I couldn’t forget a record title like that, nor could I ever forget it once I had heard it.

Wolf Eyes sound like the most terrifying thing you can imagine. They make Slayer sound like the Cocteau Twins, and yet…I find myself absolutely mesmerised by the noise they make.

Wolf Eyes-‘Stabbed In the Face.’ mp3

Wolf Eyes-‘The Driller.’ mp3

SunnO))) are another band that look terrifying, and sound terrifying…and yet, oddly beautiful. Their biggest inspiration is Earth, who I would desperately love to hear some stuff by (recently went into a record shop, they had an immaculately packaged album that was £30). Here are two tracks, one that is just them, another from their collaboration with Japanese band Boris, that I heard originally over at AmpCamp.

SunnO)))-‘It Took The Night To Believe.’ mp3

SunnO))) and Boris-‘The Sinking Belle (Blue Sheep).’ mp3

Here is a track from legendary noise band lead by Michael Gira, the Swans. Oddly, it was their cover of ‘Love Will Tear Us Apart’ that led to me aged eleven, startiong to find out about Joy Division. I don;t knwo much about them, but it kinds went with the post…

Swans-‘Sex God Sex.’ mp3

…as did this track from seminal post-punkers This Heat.

This Heat-’24 Track Loop.’

As before, if you like what you hear, check it out. You will almost definitely have to go to an independent record shop.

Mad, Bad and…interesting to hear #1

(san Francisco’s Matmos)

This is going to be a fairly short post, with quite a lot of music. I’ve been trying to expand my listening habits of late, which is always fun, and have been checking out The Wire, which is fantastic both on and off-line, and two other blogs which are also very good for challenging and experimental are An Idiot’s Guide To Dreaming and 20 Jazz Funk Greats (eagle-eyed readers will spot that the title of the latter blog is, of course, a reference to a Throbbing Gristle album, rather than a compilation of slap-bass monstrosities). If you like what you’re about to hear, then they should be your next port of call, along with Epitonic and Insound

For your aural pleasure, two tracks apiece from five acts.

WARNING: This music is not for those who cannot deal with being challenged!

Black Dice-‘Endless Happiness.’ mp3

Black Dice-‘Roll Up.’ mp3

Current 93 -‘Then Kill Caesar.’ mp3

Current 93 -‘VauVauVau(Black Ships In Their Harbour).’ mp3

Matmos -‘The Struggle Against Unreality Begins.’ mp3

Matmos-‘Roses And Teeth For Ludwig Wittgenstein.’ mp3

Mono -‘The Flames.’ mp3

Mono -‘Halcyon Beautiful Days.’ mp3

Yellow Swans -‘Untitled.’ mp3

Yellow Swans -‘I Woke Up.’ mp3

As always, if you like what you hear, please support the artists involved by buying music, going to see shows etc.

Due to going on honeymoon, these links will be up for two weeks.