"Ecate" is the seventh and latest album from Italian power trio, Ufomammut. Ecate is the ancient Greek goddess of the three worlds; The World of Humans, The World of the Gods and The World of the Dead. Throughout the centuries, her powerful figure has transformed in shape and meaning. As were many pagan deities, she came to be viewed as a negative entity associated with witchcraft and black magic by the Christian church.
Ufomammut’s “Ecate" is composed of six separate tracks, each one is a representation of one of her many manifestations. This album is surely an evolution in terms of composition and song structure. “Ecate” takes the epic nature of their last Neurot release, “ORO”, and distils it further into something more concise, aggressive, and yet as complex as the goddess, Ecate herself. Here the band continues to climb and further expand upon their previous works by infusing them into "Ecate", giving the past a new form. Just as the goddess presents herself in three different forms, so too the music moves between multiple levels of existence.
Among the most highly anticipated releases on NWN! for 2015 is the debut full length release by Chaos Echoes. Announced in fall of 2014, the band worked painstakingly on both the musical and visual presentation for “Transient,” and NWN! is honored to announce that it is finally complete. Deriving their name from the last album by their predecessors, Bloody Sign, Chaos Echoes established themselves as France’s masters of Avant Garde Death after quietly releasing a series of EPs featuring the band’s characteristically unorthodox material. Combining magnificent complexity, an exceptionally high degree of musicianship, and a distinct sense of experimentalism, Chaos Echoes is among the most captivating bands in the underground – a band truly incapable of simple categorization. “Transient” reflects the culmination of Chaos Echoes’ work to date. The album is undeniably unique, yet also firmly rooted in the spirit and substance of metal. It is not the product of outsiders peering into and misappropriating metal elements in the service of some impotent simulacra; rather, “Transient” reflects Chaos Echoes’ deep reverence for Death Metal, their passage through the depths of the genre, and the band’s emergence from its depths to peer beyond. The album is meant to be absorbed as one continuous experience as each of the tracks blends seamlessly into the next. Continuing with the pattern developed on previous releases, the more focused and aggressive tracks on “Transient” are held together by the threads of long, ritualistic, and haunting tracks presented in sequence and referred to, in Burroughsian fashion, as “Interzones.” While the album is rich with an atmosphere of intentional experimentation, the focused intensity of tracks such as “Advent of my Genesis” and the frenetic ecstasy of the climactic closing track, “Soul Ruiner,” reveal the detailed composition and calculated precision of “Transient.” As with all of their previous recordings, the music is the undeniable focus of the release, but it is not intended to be regarded in a vacuum; rather, Chaos Echoes puts nearly as much emphasis upon the accompanying visual content (created by Chaos Echoes bassist and accomplished visual artist, Stefan Thanneur). “Transient” is, by far, the most visually ambitious release in Chaos Echoes’ catalog. Accompanying the LP is a 20-page booklet featuring artwork created specifically as an extension of the band’s sonic explorations. Regarded as a whole, “Transient” is unlike any other metal release to date. A perfect synthesis of conservative reverence for tradition and iconoclastic novelty, Chaos Echoes accomplishes with this album something that, arguably, no band has ever successfully done before.
by L.Voag "The Way Out" & Milk from Cheltenham "Tryptic of Poisoners"
re-issue on Superior Viaduct 2015
The first-time vinyl reissue of the sole album from UK DIY legends Milk From Cheltenham, originally released in 1983 on famed It's War Boys imprint, is recommended for fans of Swell Maps, The Faust Tapes and LAFMS.
Joseph Nechvatal’s epic passion poem, Destroyer of Naivetés, takes up a position of excess from within a society that believes that the less you conceal, the stranger you become. We live and love in a culture where surveillance/intrusion is tied to our drive for self-revealing everything (an anti-private-life culture of curiosity, egotism, solitude, fear, voyeurism, exhibitionism and resentment — where the feeling is that nothing could or should remain unknown to us).
The sex farce poetic overindulgence of Destroyer of Naivetés takes inspiration from the books of Jean Genet, Marcel Duchamp’s The Bride Stripped Bare by Her Bachelors, Even, drawings by Hans Bellmer, film/performances of Bradley Eros, and the erotic scribblings of Giacomo Casanova, Georges Bataille, Petronius, Vladimir Nabokov, Marquis de Sade, Yukio Mishima, Ovid, Leopold von Sacher-Masoch, Kathy Acker and I Am a Beautiful Monster by Francis Picabia.
Galerie Richard (121 Orchard Street, NYC) on Saturday, November 21st from 6-7:10 pm, presents a public signing/reading of Destroyer of Naivetés, Joseph Nechvatal’s epic sex farce poem just launched by Punctum Books. This reading will be delivered as a 1:10 min. music-voice recording, also called Destroyer of Naivetés, by CAVE BACCHUS (Black Sifichi, Rhys Chatham & Joseph Nechvatal). It is free to the public.
First ever vinyl collection of the legendary “Kostis,” the most enigmatic of all Greek rebetika artists. 12 tracks of truly unique guitar duets and black-humor lyrics chronicling the hash dens, prison culture and pickpockets of old Athens. Recorded under a pseudonym for export to the Greeks living in America, research has uncovered the musician, journalist and cartoonist Kostas Bezos as the figure lurking behind the Kostis name, with ties to the famous singer Tetos Demetriades. Renowned for his slide guitar playing in Hawaiian-style orchestras throughout the 1930s, the Kostis recordings reveal an entirely different underworld of the macabre and illicit. The use of guitar in these now-classic rebetika songs display a virtuosity of finger-picked Near-Eastern modes and unusual tunings at the dawn of rebetika, when the bouzouki was yet to become supreme.
Presented in pristine audio quality mastered from original 78 rpm discs by Michael Graves, “The Jail’s a Fine School” stands as an important document of an enduring mystery in Greek music, and a high standard for what was once a truly subversive art form.
LP version includes a 28 page booklet with extensive notes by Tony Klein (“Greek Rhapsody,” “Mortika”), full lyrics in Greek and English, and several previously unpublished photographs. Digital version includes a PDF of the full booklet.
Distributed by Mississippi Records and Little Axe Records.
(photos by SKG, taken from "The Guardians of the Galaxy")
I am very proud to present the HNW-Q No.9 featuring this time Charlotte and Julien Skrobek. I stumbled across their works in the second phase (after its unnoticed and nameless initialization during approximately the 1990's) of the unfolding of the HNW-universe:the ruthless epoch of its fetishization and brainless exploitation. Or less pretentious: the totally annoying and brainless imitation of Romain Perrot'skingsize intellectual invention almost worldwide. This imitatory and levelling flood destroyed nearly all promising, different and original projects. It opened all doors for totally worthless HNW-projects despite the courageous attempts by some label owners (e.g.:James Killick, Joseph Gates, Grégory Henrion and the Skrobeks) to moderate the flood. But who can honestly moderate a flood of garbage ?
Another ugly side-effect of this eurocentric hegemony of one HNW-paradigm that was unnecessarily derived from and connected to HN (the second awful acronym) was the total erasure of different ways to spell out HNW. This led to a severe sales problem, because no one could explain why one should own more than one HNW-recording. Uniformity and stupidity became synonyms and trademarks deliberately chosen by most of the HNW artists, because they were too stupid to understand Perrot's invention and his serial production method and to uninspired to develop different ways of HNW that could or should have been connected to a critical reception of the works of Richard Ramirez and Sam McKinlay or to other forms of Classical Minimalism and Experimentalism in Music, Sound-Art, Electroacoustics and the Fine Arts. But the HNW-industry prefered to chain itself deliberately to a misconception about the HNW-sound - being brutal or extreme (how stupid is that ??) - instead of serious aural research of an unmapped territory of Non-Music or the infinitely close to music and its backdrops in the High Art or Avantgarde worlds of the XX. century. Sadly HNW is most of the time popmusic of the worst kind: it takes no risks, it is absolutely predictable, it is a cheap and sedating factory music. Remember: It is really difficult and close to impossible not to fall in the deadly traps of late capitalism.
The totally regressive and depressive development of HNW from a public, mildly discussed and slightly commercial phenomenon (yes, there were times when people liked to pay for this in large groups) to a mere ignorant underground trade thing killed all my interests over the years. And I am still not sure if I should spend more time exploring this area of sound in detail again. Why should I listen and comment HNW when there are so many better composers and projects around that seriously work in the field of a re-mapping of the crucial distinction of Music and Non-Music, Silence and Sound ? The amounts of violent stupidity, anti-intellectualism, misogyny and ignorance in the underground ( I call it igno-ground now) are absolutely intolerable. Disgusting artworks (your grand grandmother was not really shocked, but anyway you were the king in your kindergarten noise group for one day !) combined with talentfree sounds straight from the assembly line produced in a sad basement located in a land called I.D.O.C.If you are still absolutely clueless about the official and unofficial music history of the XX.century, then please stop making sounds !
One last remark before I return to the outstanding projects of Charlotte and Julien. I am absolutely sure that no one (writers and normal consumers) is really listening to HNW with respect and attention. One look at the reviews and the debates is sufficient here: always the same annoying descriptions. It does not matter at all if the piece lasts for 10 hours or 1 minute and how it was produced. In the end this only proves how helpless the reception of post-Cage-Soundworlds still is ! The following question still remains largely unanswered and undiscussed: how do you review a work that does not follow the classical criteria ? Consequently HNW tapes, Audio Files and CDs will hang around lazy in the sun for a very long time to come waiting only to be traded and traded and traded again and again without purpose and final destination. These questions remain: Why are people producing things no one needs ? Why is someone trading loneliness for a climate of open and critical debates ? Why is HNW - being around for several years now - unable to develop itself in terms of critical evaluation and inventiveness to an amount that keeps it thrilling and unpredictable ? After all these more general and polemical remarks, I would like to come back to the featured artists. Charlotte and Julien Skrobek are two of the most versatile, adventurous, experimental and non-orthodox artists in the field of HNW. Consequently I would like to call the field in which CJ are working no longer HNW, but Experimental-Non-Music (ENM) and/or Silence/Music (S/M). I think these two acronyms catch the impetus of their works far better and individualizes their complex approach and entries in this field. And I can avoid the moronic acronym ANW. The names Charlotte and Julien Skrobek stand for a wide range of thought provoking, innovating, courageous and often irritating projects. Charlotte and Julien are trying to map and conceptualize the ENM and S/M-field using a wide range of systematizations, production-techniques, intellectual references, original artworks and designs. Most of the projects affiliated with them (eg. Ghost, Ruine, The Sandman wears a Mask, Figures of Solitude, Static Park, Absurde) are very good examples for serious aural research about sonorous silence.
Charlotte and Julien Skrobek also put the problem of stasis and kinesis, volumes and textures, a refined spelling out of a certain manierist trompe-l'oreille-effect and the mapping of the inaudible silence (a nickname for no-musical-content or no-information) on their agenda. They are treating the production devices(eg. distortion-pedals, microphones, recording-machines or other electronic maniupulation devices) used in HNW like new instruments that desperately need attention and research to avoid artistical arbitrariness. With equal ferveur they try to develop what I have called a psycho-acoustics or simpler a research of the impact of sounds on our brains. HNW seen as a S/M-device for a sobering up of our ears -- to listen, finally -- with our brains in standby beyond corny processings! Another paradoxical effect of HNW (in my opinion this is also a target or important part of CJ's work) is that it changes our relationship to sounds. It generates a strange effect: it is shocking when it starts and it is even more shocking and uncanny when it stops. As if music presents itself once and for all in all its fragile intensity. Sounds appear out of silence and disappear in silence again. HNW-sounds are maybe like a dramatic curtain: staging this minimal definition of music: on/off or zero/one/zero/one etc..
One final remark about Charlotte and Julien Skrobek as label owners. In retrospective the name of their first HNW-label Slow Death was very funny, sardonic and a little prophetic, because HNW was already dying slowly back then and it is still dying. But the name "Slow Death" is for me also connected to the finest releases and most unorthodox artworks ever in this field. Who has no lasting memories of these red covers ? Who has no lasting memories of the 2011 releases like Angström's"La chute des anges rebelles" , Askell Grochen's "Cri", Skrobek's own projects Ghost, Bones & The Sandman wears a Mask and Alois Richter to name a few before the label folded surprisingly in 2011. After a hiatus of few years the Skrobek's returned in 2013 with an new label called Ink Run Recordings with refreshingly new artworks opening new perspectives on Static Noise (relating it closer to Modern Art and Graphics) and a bunch of interesting projects (to name a few) from Flesh Clocks, Cuttings (with Charlotte and Clive Henry) to The Girl with the Stanley Knife. Their newest label is calledEnsemble Vide Records (click here) it started recently in October 2015 with a series of Multi-CD-r-Sets with works byAbsurde (Julien and Charlotte's new project), Black Matter Phantasm, Vomir, Chier (looking for a different body orifice than Vomir ;) ), and a new release by Ghost.
I want to close the introduction with a description of the very early phase of our universe (source: Wikipedia) and reconnect it to the beginning of my text in which I related HNW to this process. Let's hope that HNW returns to its hot phase again:
In the first phase, the very earliest universe was so hot, or energetic, that initially no matter particles existed or could exist perhaps only fleetingly. According to prevailing scientific theories, at this time the distinct forces we see around us today were joined in one unified force. Space-time itself expanded during an inflationary epoch due to the immensity of the energies involved. Gradually the immense energies cooled – still to a temperature inconceivably hot compared to any we see around us now, but sufficiently to allow forces to gradually undergo symmetry breaking, a kind of repeated condensation from one status quo to another, leading finally to the separation of the strong force from the electroweak force and the first particles.
[written by SKG, 1.10-19.11.2015]
This is the HNW-Q No.9 brilliantly completed
byCharlotte & Julien Skrobek:
The HNW-Q No. 9
I discovered and invented HNW for myself, when I was looking for something new in sound-making.
 The initial radicality of HNW would be preserved, if it got archived properly.
 HNW is the contemplation of a harsh noise texture until it causes an auditory hallucination.
HNW is not completely music.
 I like the acronym H.N.W. because it says what it does.
 HNW is purecontemplation.
 The sounds of machines are frequent but not a necessity.
 HNW helps the way one's brain works to be revealed.
 Monolithic Walls are richer than non-monolithic.
 The Future of HNW would be recognition by the academics. The Death of HNW would be recognition by the academics.
 HNW should be related to Malevitch to understand it better.
 Singularity and Originality in HNW are marginal but a human necessity.
 HNW should be called Static Minimalism, because that's what it is really.
 HNW should not be called Static Minimalism, because it sounds pretentious.
 The permanent repetition of the HNW-Mantra (No ideas, no change, no dynamics, no development etc.) leads to an imitation of Vomir.
 Volume in HNW is unimportant to us.
 Distortion in HNW is one out of many tools.
 My Unconscious is sometimes called upon in HNW.
 Narratives, Analogies and Metaphors in HNW are impossible in sound, only in thematic imagery.
 Time and Space in HNW are arbitrary.
HNW is musically the nearest you can go to absolute Nothingness.
 My HNW amplifies sonic details and imagination.
 Minimal Music and Cosmic Drones arerelatives of HNW.
 Conceptualism is the byproduct of HNW.
 The main ingredients of brilliant HNW are the ability to trick the listener's mind into thinking there are changes and movements when there are none.
 The purpose and the concept of my HNW are absurdity, chaos and order.
 The distinction between ANW / HNW is harshness.
 The philosophy of HNW can change from one person to the next.
 My first words about HNW were this is a musical revolution.
 My final words about HNW would be that is what it is.
The phrase I would like to add to this questionary is HNW is the same as near-silent music.
(photos by SKG, taken from "The Guardians of the Galaxy")
Merci beaucoup, Charlotte et Julien ! Please support their label EVR and their various projects ! Further informations HERE
Plus three Zizek Talks about Marx (2014) and Hegel (2014, 2015) another odd couple. Marx and Destructive Creation.(2014) Can we still be Hegelians ? (2014) Is Hegel Dead - or are We Dead in the Eyes of Hegel? (2015) with Avital Ronell.